Home > Latest News > Mobile Spyware Becoming More Widespread

Mobile Spyware Becoming More Widespread


Click to enlarge

Niemela said his prediction follows what has happened with the malware writers in the PC market. Many hackers are now in the business of selling easy-to-use tools to less technical hackers rather than hacking into PCs themselves.

However, the number of mobile spyware programs still pales in comparison to the number of such programs available for PCs, but in a worrying prediction, Niemela said mobile spying programs are “harder to track, since security companies don’t see as many samples circulating on the Internet as they do of malicious software for PCs”.
And according to www.mobile-antivirus.org the issue is one of not noticing the massive changes in mobile capabilities and focusing on desktops instead.
“Security engineers have been so overwhelmed contending with PC challenges that they haven’t focused their attention at all in this area. They also felt that the initial capability of the handset was so inconsequential that there would be no threat to them”.
However, adds mobile-antivirus.org, the emerging power, connectivity and widespread use coupled with the lack of security have left the handsets vulnerable and has meant businesses will undoubtedly bear the brunt of any attack.

According to www.techworld.com, some of the more well-known spy programs are Neo-cal and FlexiSpy. Neo-call is capable of forwarding SMS text messages to another phone, transmitting a list of phone numbers called, and logging keystrokes without the owners knowledge. FlexiSpy has a neat, web-based interface that shows details of call times, numbers and SMSs, and it can even use a phone’s GPS receiver to pinpoint the victim’s location.
Moreover, most spying programs leave traces on the phone, and analysis tools can be used to check a phone’s processes and file system to see if something is there that shouldn’t be, Niemela said.
Also, mobile spying programs have to transmit their data. If the spy program sends data over GPRS, the network operator will demand payment. “As long as it has to use a paid channel, it cannot escape the operator’s bill,” Niemela said.
Another way says Niemala is to replace the phone’s SIM card with one that allows for real-time monitoring. SMSs can then be sent to the phone, which in many countries are free to receive. If the monitoring reveals outgoing data traffic after SMSs are received, the phone could be hacked. It’s also possible to check if the GPRS connection icon lights up after a message is received.