Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Does Cell Phone Spyware Work?

Cell Phone tapping thru the use of Cell Phone Spy Ware is absolutely real, and the software, although, very nefarious is also available thru online merchants more than willing to sell this type of software. We have all ether seen or read the many reports on this subject presented by ether ABC, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, New York Times, and just about every world wide media outlet has investigated cell phone spying, and all of them have reported that it is REAL, and not a hoax.
Although much has been written or exposed concerning cell phone spying, and cell phone tracking there really has not been much discussed concerning "How It Is Done" How is cell phone tapping performed. In this article I will endevor to explain this as simplified as possible, however, very accurate.

The software used for this purpose is designed around the very same protocols that a simple bluetooth enabled hands free headset uses to access your cell phone and allow you to carry on conversations without having to actually have your cell phone in your hands.
The bluetooth protocol is not a part of the cellular network. it is a wireless protocol built much on the same principals as lets say, a music radio station, and your automobiles am/fm stereo that you listen to music with while you are driving around from one place to another.

We will use this example. Please understand that this example is simplified, but the reality is much the same for the purpose of this article, and for those of you investigating this for the first time.

First, lets discuss the bluetooth hands free headset. Lets say that you are in a state or locality that has outlawed talking on the cell phone and you now want to purchase a hands free headset so that you can continue to talk on your cell phone, but not get caught doing so. big ticket right!
O.K. so you go down to your local Wallyworld, electronics store, or even the provider that you bought your cell phone and cellular service from.
You begin looking at the many different headsets that are offered for sale. You look at the "wired" headsets and right away you are thinking No Way am I going to have to deal with all those wires dangling around my neck, so you make the decision to purchase a "bluetooth" headset instead. There are many different styles and choices, and many make a fashion statement all on their own. You look at at a particular headset and wonder if this headset will operate with my cellphone. You then go to find a sales clerk, and ask "Is this one compatible with my cellphone?", and without even looking at the headset the clerk says "yes. it is compatible with ANY bluetooth enabled cell phone" You think Hmmm ANY cellphone..Great I will buy it.
You now understand that the bluetooth protocol is compatible with ANY Cell Phone because it is not the cellphone that is in question here. The only requirement is that the Cell Phone be Bluetooth enabled. That's it!

O.k. back to how cell phone spying is performed.

The blutooth "chip" that is embeded into your cell phone is like a mini radio station broad casting and receiving antenna. This antenna is Independant of the cellular network, and as a matter of fact is it's own little radio network with it's own set of protocols. This is where certain cell phone spyware or "hacking" software takes it advantage.
An individual that has a desire to intercept your cell phone activity, and has aquired this software loads this software to their cell phone, and can perform the following depending on the spyware program they have loaded.
1) They can use the program to gain control of your cell phones internal settings to cause your cell phone to SECRETLY perform one or all of the following:
a) command your cell phone to forward all your sent and recieved text messages to them.
b) command your cell phone to forward GPS tracking locates to them.
c) command your cell phone to allow them to "listen in" to your live cell phone conversations.
d) command your cell phone to allow them access to your stored images.
e) command your cell phone to allow them access to your stored files.
f) command your cell phone to allow them access to your internet browsing history.
g) command your cell phone to block certain callers.

Yes! It is true.
All this and more can be done with the use of certain cell phone spyware, and it does not end there! This protocol even works when your cell phone is OFF! as long as the battery is in your cell phone it is really not off at all.
The individual who desires to access your cell phone does not even need a cell phone at ALL!
They can perform all the above from a blutooth enable laptop, or notbook computer as well that has been loaded with the correct bluetooth spyware for use in such devices.
All this can be performed without leaving any trace on your cell phone.

How do you protect yourself?
number one: Purchase the "wired" headset.
number two: Turn off the bluetooth function of your cell phone.
number three: Take the battery out of your cell phone when it is not in use.
number four: Do not give out your cell phone number to just anyone.
number five: Do not store any personal data whatsoever on your cell phone. store it to a memory card and take the card out of the cell phone after use or access.

In closing: If you follow these suggestions GREAT!, but you are still not protected 100% and here is the reason why.
Sim card readers.
Sim card reader programs enable someone close to you, or someone who has stolen your cellphone to access the stored data on the Sim card of gsm cell phones such as AT&T.
Sim Cards generally store your contacts, text messages, including the last 10 that you deleted, and many times images.
This method can only be achieved by ether someone very close to you, or by a thief who has stolen your cell phone, as the individual will need physical access to your cell phone to pull the sim card out of it. Problem is that most sim card reader software can read your sim card in minutes, and the individual will only need access to your cell phone for a very short time period.