>Mobile Phone Hacking and How To Prevent It

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Mobile phone hacking isn’t a new phenomenon it has been taking place for years, it normally occurs via two methods:

Voicemail hacking – somebody remotely listening to your phone’s voicemail messages

Data hacking – somebody viewing or stealing information stored on your phone (or a PC based backup), such as phone numbers, bank account details and emails.

Celebrities have been the main targets for the mobile phone hacks because that apparently sells newspapers but fraudsters will also target us ‘normal’ people to obtain our sensitive data so as they can commit fraud or to sell the data on.
Voicemail hacking is an invasion of privacy but what information can really be obtained  from a left message (?), well really that depends on the person leaving it I suppose….
Hackers can get away with such simple access thanks to a massive flaw, namely that public voicemail systems don’t record the numbers from which the service is being accessed, only the time of access. This alone would make simple voicemail hacks harder to execute by leaving a trail of evidence of access.

Some simple preventive measures are:

Voicemail hacking normally takes place via the system that allows you to listen to your messages when you don’t have your mobile with you or your away from home. This is normally via a land line number (or your own land line number if its a home based answer phone system) and then you enter a security pin to listen to your messages however most people never change their pin from the default which is normally 1234 or 0000. If you don’t change this pin code then a phone hacker could potentially listen to your voicemails by entering one of the default pins. Assuming your new pin is four digits, that allows up to 10,000 possible combinations for a hacker to guess, not completely secure but a reasonable start.

Click the image to read some of
the recent news stories

Data hacking is a significant risk as most of us now walk around with the same amount of data storage in our mobiles as our PCs are capable of holding at home. To minimise the risk of your mobile data falling into the wrong hands you could try the following:

  • Be careful where you store sensitive information – for example don’t use a non secure ‘notes’ type app to store your credit card, bank account or pin codes in. Use a secure (password/pin protected) app or better still don’t store this type of information anywhere!
  • Avoid public wi-fi – Avoid checking emails, logging into mobile banking sites and accessing private information when your phone is connected to public wi-fi such as those in coffee shops – as these are often insecure.
  • Set a phone password – If your phone’s lost or stolen then a password could stop a data hacker in their tracks.
  • Turn off Bluetooth – When you’re not using Bluetooth always turn it off as hackers could use the wireless connection to gain remote access to your phone.
  • Turn off auto-complete – Some phones save user names and passwords automatically to help you log-i
    n faster next time, but this could also help a hacker access your personal data. Check your phone’s “Settings” menu to see if it is automatically storing information.
  • Delete your browsing history – Not seeing a list of which websites you’ve recently visited and the information you’ve accessed might be a little inconvenient, but clearing your mobile phone’s Internet browser history, cookies and cache will make it harder for a hacker to get your data.
  • Remote locate, lock or wipe – sign up to a ‘mobileme – find my iphone’ type service that allows you via another authorised device or web page to locate, lock, wipe or send an alert to your lost (or stolen) device. There has been a few good media stories on these services.
The recent stories in the media are not good news for the people who have experienced the hacks but this is only the tip of the iceberg for sure. Accessing people’s voicemails has for a longtime been a ‘tool’ that law enforcement and investigators have utilised to gain intel but thanks to this recent media coverage fraudsters will now jump on the band wagon. You have been warned!

 
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone  – which is password protected 😉
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