Most people don’t know what hackers will actually do
Hackers have been around for just about as long as the internet. And now that phones have become more or less like miniature computers connected to the web, I’m sorry to inform you that your smartphone is also vulnerable to hacking.
It goes without saying that one of the main goals of hacking is to steal personal information and credit card numbers. But here are six other terrifying hacks for you to get paranoid about:
#1. Hackers can eavesdrop on your calls
Using fake cellular base stations, hackers can intercept, listen to, and even record your voice calls.
#2. Hackers can hold your phone ransom
Ransomware holds your phone hostage until you pay up. This hack can seriously disrupt your phone, holding it on lock down so that you can’t even use it until you pay the ransom. Often this includes blackmailing you with threats to report you to the FBI for possession of child pornography.
#3. Hackers can make 3D maps (WHAT!?)
First, you approve an innocent-looking photo-based app to access your phone’s camera. Then, the spy cam takes photographs of your surroundings throughout the day. This can include sensitive images like your computer screen, your documents, or your checks. But what’s even creepier is that the hackers can use collections of images of your environment to create composite images that give them a 3D map to your home or office.
The technology is called PlaceRaider, and was developed by the U.S. military, but may also be used by burglars as a high-tech way to case the joint.
#4. Hackers know what you are typing
Using the sensors on your smartphones tilt detector – the feature that flips your browser when you turn your phone on its side – hackers can detect the vibrations of your finger tapping your computer keyboard, then use mathematical algorithms to calculate which keys you are typing. In this way they can record your chats and emails and even your passwords.
#5. Hackers can use your phone to hack other people
Hackers can use radio signals to command your Siri, using your phone to send spam and malware to other users. This masks their trail but points law enforcement in your direction.
#6. The NSA can hack your smartphone
The leaked Snowden documents revealed that the National Security Agency has assigned teams to investigate how to hack all major smartphone brands and operating systems. iPhone, Blackberry, and Android are all vulnerable. The NSA can access your contact lists, text messages, notes, and personal information.
Phones are getting smart – and hackers, unfortunately, are getting even smarter.