What signs can point at smartphone being wiretapped?

January 29, 2024  20:17

Some signs may indicate that the user's smartphone is being tapped. Vasily Shutov, a teacher at the information protection department of RTU MIREA, warns about this.

According to him, signs such as constant heating or rapid battery drain may indicate possible eavesdropping on the device. Frequently appearing system error messages, crashes, spontaneous reboots, as well as self-launching of an application with personal data also deserve attention. Interference and strange noises that occur during a conversation may also indicate problems, including possible wiretapping.

According to Shutov, to check a smartphone for the presence of spyware, it is necessary to use anti-virus programs. It is advisable to update them regularly and monitor their messages and warnings.

It is also recommended to study the list of applications installed on your smartphone. If among them there is a foreign program that you did not install, it is recommended to remove it (if these are not system applications pre-installed on the phone by the manufacturer). If you have problems, you can also try to reset your smartphone to factory settings and reinstall the software.

However, it should be noted that there are spyware that cannot be detected by “usual” methods and which do not cause any malfunctions or other “symptoms” in the phone. These include, for example, Pegasus, which Azerbaijan has been actively using in recent years as a cyber weapon against Armenia - with the permission of Israel.

True, Pegasus is a very expensive “pleasure”, and it usually infects the phones of people who have important information or occupy important positions. Citing a 2016 price list, the New York Times reports that the program costs about $500,000, and NSO also charges $650,000 to monitor 10 iOS devices and the same for 10 Android devices. Tracking an additional 100 targets costs $800,000, 50 costs $500,000, 20 costs $250,000, and 10 costs $150,000.

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