It’s hard enough to accept the fact that we’re living in a “science fiction” world today. Smartphones are real pearls of engineering that fit in the pocket of your jeans. However, there will always be people who can turn these beautiful technologies against us in ways that are not easy to guess. Looking ahead, there are a lot of anti spy apps that will not be superfluous on your smartphone.
A smartphone can recognize the text you type on your keyboard
If you work at a computer, you should probably keep your favorite smartphone on the desk you work at. Indeed, if you get a call, you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket, it’s also uncomfortable to sit with.
Researchers from Georgia Tech University have turned a smartphone into a real villain who is aware of your every keystroke. Passwords, email, personal correspondence — all this your phone can quietly “eavesdrop“.
If you think that a microphone or camera is involved in surveillance, you are mistaken. It’s still trickier. When you type on the keyboard, the accelerometer on your smartphone captures the elusive vibrations of the table on which the device is lying. And depending on the distance between the keys and the time you press, a sophisticated mathematical algorithm determines which keys you press.
Phones with accelerometer sensitivity levels like iPhone 4 can easily “tell” which text you’re typing with up to 80% accuracy. Fortunately, such a hacker attack is easy to repel – just do not put the phone next to the keyboard.
Smartphones can steal credit card data just by being next to them
A potential threat is carried by every smartphone that is located nearby, regardless of whether it is yours or not. A modern Android device can easily steal your credit card details and order products for its developer on eBay.
Fortunately, not all cards are susceptible to attack. This applies only to “contactless” cards. According to preliminary data, there are tens of millions of such credit cards in the US alone. And all of them are designed so that they can be counted at a distance. If you have such cards, you will soon have to keep them in a lead wallet.
Thus, all you need to steal is a modern phone with NFC and a special scanner program. In a crowded subway car, you will not even be able to understand that someone “got into” your pocket. The intruder will silently penetrate through the thickest coat and thick wallet and steal your credit card on the radio wave.
Fake charging stations with a surprise
You’ve probably seen free charging stations with different USB cables. However, these devices also pose a threat. A hidden device on the other side of the mailbox collects personal data from your phone (saved passwords, self-portraits in the bathroom, etc.). And simultaneously throws viruses at you.
In General, connecting a smartphone to unknown cables is not a good idea. While chargers installed in airports and shopping centers are likely to be safe. Charging stations with a surprise can be waiting anywhere. The number of companies renting them for their needs is steadily growing. So, perhaps, it is better to carry the cable and adapter to the electrical network with you.
Well, however, identity theft is a small thing compared to the following statement.
Fake base stations can turn your phone into a remote listening device
Even if you bought the most advanced protective case, don’t connect strange cables to your phone, and keep antivirus programs updated, you are still not protected from attacks over the air.
Professors from the University of Luxembourg demonstrated that hackers can attack a smartphone over the air, completely bypassing the operating system and antivirus SOFTWARE. We are talking about hacking the radio processor.
This type of attack requires special equipment that simulates a cell tower and makes the phone “think” that it is connected to the network. As soon as the connection is established, hackers gain control over everything that the radio processor controls. And this is the ability to make calls, get access to a microphone, and even to the camera in some models.
Secret photo app will help you follow you in 3D mode
Finally, we came to the PlaceRaider application, which can generate complete three-dimensional images inside the premises. A program that disguises itself as a harmless photo app takes random pictures during the day. The footage is then sent to a central server, where it is analyzed and combined into a three-dimensional detailed image of your home, office, or terrorist lair.
The tests were successful: PlaceRaider, in the hands of unsuspecting office workers, not only recreated the environment of the premises in high resolution, but also made a lot of screenshots from monitors, recorded receipt data, random documents on tables, and even prepared large photos of keys.
The power of smartphones is one of the technological achievements of our time. These devices carry a set of sensors for monitoring the environment, powerful data processors, and can transmit and receive information at high speed. Do not forget that all this can turn against the owner.