Phone Hacking – How to Know your Phone is Hacked?
Let me clear one thing in the very beginning, there’s no way to know for sure that your phone has been hacked. Yet there are some signs that show whether your phone has been hacked by someone or not. If let’s say 80% of your memory is consumed by an unknown background process, there’s a pretty good chance your phone is compromised.
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A hacker who picks up control of your mobile will have the capacity to send texts, make calls, or get to the web. This will change your call history, sent text messages, or different capacities unknown to the client. Screen your call, text, and camera capacity history, and in the event that you see anything you didn’t perform yourself, then your smartphone is remotely under the control of another client.
Unusual Data Access Patterns
To see if malicious apps might be phoning home, regularly audit how your smartphone is sending and receiving data.
“Android is very helpful. If you go into the settings and look at data usage, it will show you all the applications and how much data they’re using,” said Rogers.“Look at how much data your device is using, and see if there’s a big discrepancy between how much data you’re using, and how much your applications are using.”
Any difference involving 10MB or more might be a sign of “parasitic activity,” he said, such as malware that’s turned the device into a spam relay. Likewise, if certain types of apps – such as a free dictionary – are consuming unusual amounts of data, it may indicate that they’re malicious.
Check this out: How to Check whether Your Email Account has been Hacked?
Rapid Battery Life Failure
Will malware-infected Android devices have shorter-than-usual battery life? “The Android malware that we’ve seen – Trojans, not worms or viruses – has been battery conscious,” said Sullivan. “Trojans, generally speaking, are for financial purposes, and don’t want to tip off the infected.” In other words, such apps try to remain stealthy, perhaps even staying dormant before some period of time before going to work.
Then again, any poorly coded software – which of course could include malware – might lead to excessive battery drain. Still, when it comes to lower-than-usual battery life, the culprit is less likely to be malware, and more likely to be an operating system upgrade or a buggy app that you’ve recently installed.
Also, some spy software apps can increase the use of your battery so look out for any sudden changes in your battery life – does it need charging more often. Bear in mind that over time your cell phone battery life will diminish naturally, so you’re looking for any dramatic change. Some of the cheaper spy software programs will run your battery down quickly, however, the more modern, programs are designed to make less demand on the battery and are harder to spot.
Apps Downloaded from Third-Party Stores
Security experts have long recommended that users never install any Android app that arrives via email, no matter who it’s supposedly from. Also stick to procuring apps from official app stores whenever possible, given the amount of malware that’s present on third-party sites, especially in the form of apps that pretend to be free, cracked versions of paid apps. “If you have a good mobile security software installed, and you only go to trusted stores – like Google, Amazon, etc – then it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to encounter [malware],” said Lookout’s Rogers.
But only using Google Play or Amazon’s app store, won’t shield you from all types of malware. “There are plenty of malicious apps that make it out there into Google Play’s storefront,” said Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communication at Trend Micro. By last month, in fact, “just over 46 percent of the apps that Trend Micro has classified as ‘malicious’ – leaving aside the high-risk ones – were sourced directly from Google Play,” he said.
What happens if you accidentally install a malicious app on your smartphone or tablet? Beyond using mobile antivirus and using only official app stores, Sullivan also recommends that Android users regularly back up their devices to secure servers. That way, if they do get a nasty malware infection, they can roll their device back to its pre-infected state.
Finally, if anything ever seems suspicious, Sullivan recommends doing what the aforementioned reader did: Stop what you’re doing and investigate. “There’s very little [malware] that works automatically [on Android], usually with just one click,” he said.
Odd Phone Behavior
Look for any changes in your cell phones behavior. Does it suddenly light up/turn on automatically when not in use; make random beeping noises, shut down by itself – even when the battery is charged – or exhibit any other random behavior? Some spy software can be quite buggy and is known to cause this.
All phones can do strange things from time to time but if this is happening on a regular basis it could be a sign that your phone is being accessed by hidden software.
Don’t get paranoid with this one is quite often this easily explained as a bad connection. If it is happening more than normal it could be another tell-tale sign. Look out for static, clicking, beeping or voices in the background. Some call listening and recording features can cause this background noise as they access your phone like a conference call.
Receiving Unusual Texts
Are you receiving strange text messages containing random numbers, symbols or characters? The remote control feature of spy software works by sending secret coded text messages to your phone and in some cases, these can be seen – if the software is not working correctly. If this happens regularly you could have a spy app on your phone.
Increased data Usage
Have you noticed an increase in your normal data usage? Some of the less reliable Spy apps use extra data to send the information collected from your phone, so look out for any unexplained increase in your monthly data usage.
With all the above you are looking for sudden changes in the behavior of your phone that cannot be explained, you could be a victim of spying.
See Also: How to know your Phone is being Tracked? Try these coded to find out. (These codes does not work for each country).
Other Signs that show Your Phone is Jacked/Hacked/Trapped.
- Weird apps appearing that you didn’t install.
- Your browser changing (design, homepage, browser itself).
- Browser plugins being installed.
- Your phone slowing down.
- Your phone using massive amounts of data without you actually doing anything.
- Random shutdowns/reboots.
- Apps being deleted without your permission.
- More Data consumption.
- More CPU Usage
- More ram Usage
- More Write load on internal storage or External Storage
- Unintended Application Startup’s
- Applications asking for Credentials
- Getting Fake Mails
- Random Deductions from Account
- Slowing Down of Mobile
- Advertisements Everywhere
- It gets hot during standby
- Sending or receiving strange text messages
- Your device is attempting to access “bad” sites.
- Your email from the device is getting blocked by spam filters.
More Signs that show Your Phone is Jacked/Trapped.
Well, you want more signs keep reading. These are mainly for those who know some tech stuff already.
1) Weird files like “Pornhub.apk”
Alright, this one is pretty easy to find with anti-viruses as the coded virus is made in a tool not human coded. It could also be .exe, .html and more.
2) Hacked Network
As much weirder it is gonna get if you scan your internet and see like “or mac address with unidentified IPs” run an anti-spyware for botnets or Trojans.
3) Hacked social media accounts
Yes, that’s right people can hack you via phone to social media accounts by browsing saved passwords or caches/files.
4) Hacked sim card/phone numbers
People do this to “spoof” their number as yours or to pretend to be you and call your ISP, say like “I am having issues with my data how do I fix it and I may need a new number and sim card as I lost my phone” Sounds pretty legit? Exactly! That is social engineering.
No not porn ones, clickjacking is when a hacker pretends to be the site after putting it in an <iframe> tag in HTML. they then say “CLICK HERE TO WIN 500K! or An iPhone X or SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 9” after clicked you are hooked like a fish on their line, they then remote inject your phone and hack it fast with the IP or mac address.
6) Web servers
Ah! sounds impossible but it is possible. You might be hosting your VPS on your phone to PC or etc. The hacker then scans for IPs connected to it and ports, Then he/she connects to your phone without any passcode after an injection.
As much as people won’t believe me that VPS are hackable, they are dumb. its made in Linux or Service Pack/windows. you first crack the password of admin and then view all data on the connected devices.
Internet service providers do the hack, most scammers act as your ISP and say like “Hello sir, we discovered that you have an insecure connection with your phone” goes on and on then they ask you to connect them but don’t after you do they control your phone/PC.
9) Ransomware attack
Is your phone or files in the phone is locked and asking for money to unlock it? If this is something that you have experienced then your device is infected by Ransomware.
I am sure that is a lot to give you the idea about Phone Hacking. The main thing is you need to be careful and take precautions. Being hacked is primarily due to our negligence or ignoring stuff happening around.
Phone Hacking – Preventive Measures and things to avoid to be on the safe side.
A) Some Simple Things to Avoid Phone Hacking (for Beginners)
- Do not visit malicious Web sites.
- Uninstall unauthorized and unusable Applications from Mobile. Go to your settings and open the list of installed applications, and if there is one that’s you don’t know, uninstall it because hackers like to plant remote administrative tools.
- Do not give your passwords to untrusted people.
- Do not install applications apart from play store/iTunes. Don’t install anything from links and emails use own market only Play store for Android, App store for Apple, windows store for Windows etc.
- Don’t Root your Device. it becomes vulnerable to be hacked easily as compared to a non-rooted device. Also, Don’t jailbreak your iPhone.
- For iPhones, ensuring your phone isn’t jailbroken also prevents anyone from downloading a spy app to your phone, since such software – which tampers with system-level functions – doesn’t make it onto the App Store.
- Android users can download a that will flag malicious programs. Uses with the latest phone don’t need this as the latest phones come up with their own Security Apps. There isn’t the same type of mobile security apps for iOS, due to App Store restrictions, though and Sophos will alert you if your iPhone has been jailbroken.
- Just simply Install the android app called Unhack, this provides the information about who app accessing your private information.
- Download some anti-virus and anti-spyware apps (available in stores). That is basically not necessary if you don’t install any external or useless apps and take precautions while using your smartphone. Yet, if you are someone who is always digging then installing an antivirus (esp a paid one) will keep you safe to a greater extent.
- The most important part of “not being hacked” in the first place is not clicking on unverified links. Avoiding any kind of authentication on sites that are not running HTTPs protocol (you can see it next to URL in most browsers. It is displayed as green lock icon). So never visit a site with HTTP protocol. Always look for https. It stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure.
- It is good to avoid activity on public networks because of Man in the Middle attacks.
- Never reply someone stranger to emails.
- Don’t click the links especially the ones that say it gonna make you rich. No one is gonna make you rich freely. Work hard if you want to become a millionaire.
- Never share your details online. Locations, your girlfriend/boyfriend details, and even your family. Keep these details with you no need to share.
- If your bank sites ask your account number, 100% that site is fake and you’d be in trouble. Because no bank sites ask account details.
- Never connect to open wifi. Many of them are fake and hackers will know what are you doing on the free network.
- Most importantly, use your smartphone smartly.
B) Some Simple Things to Avoid Phone Hacking (for Advanced Users)
- Install the packet sniffer on your Wi-Fi network and disable 3G/4G mobile data access and carry out a deep inspection of the packets. See what all information is being sent out from your device.
- The easiest way, get a packet sniffer such as Wireshark and see if there are any unrecognized IP address on your network, and then DOS them.
- Try installing Log viewer.apk or Logviewer lite.apk from Google app store to understand how your phone is behaving and to have visibility about installed app behavior. If you find any suspicious activity like uploading data or recording your activity in any folder or text file it indicates that your phone has been compromised. So the last option left with you is to go for factory setting and after that check all the access that app request while installing into the phone and provide access to these applications as least as possible.
- Symantec sky cure application “SEP mobile” install and check android OS and configuration along with apps.
- Don’t jailbreak your iPhone. “If a device isn’t jailbroken, all apps show up,” says Wisniewski. “If it is jailbroken, spy apps are able to hide deep in the device, and whether security software can find it depends on the sophistication of the spy app [because security software scans for known malware].”
Phone Hacking – What to do if you are Hacked?
- Your best bet is then to do a factory restore, or take it to a specialist.
- Format your external storage or Deep scan for virus, worms and other malicious software.