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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Signs & Symptoms of a Hacked Smartphone

 by Tommy Doc, Demand Media  
Smartphones today can be easily hacked using cheap or free software applications with all of the necessary information available for free online. Since smartphones have operating systems similar to computers, a successful hack will give hackers complete control of the device, from calls, to texts, to applications like Facebook and mobile banking. Unauthorized use or activity on the phone is the most telling sign of an intrusion, as well as abnormal service disruptions or changes to the phone's settings.

Strange Texts

iPhone users have reported strange SMS text messages received as an initial attempt to hack a smartphone. Texts that appear as a single square or other strange characters are attempts by hackers to download spyware or malware onto your device. These attacks are similar to malicious email viruses, however on a mobile device the SMS only has to be received by the smartphone, with no download action taken by the user. If a hacker accesses a device of a friend who has you in their address book, it can be easily passed along to your number. Check with your contacts to see if they have experienced similar texts, and notify them of a potential hack.

Unauthorized Use

A hacker who gains control of your mobile device will be able to send texts, make calls, or access the internet. This will alter your call history, sent text messages, or other functions unbeknownst to the user. Monitor your call, text, and camera function history, and if you notice anything you did not perform yourself, then your phone is remotely under the control of another user. Experienced hackers will cover their tracks, so if you suspect a hack check your phone records with your service provider to detect any unauthorized use.

Service Disruptions

If you are experiencing ticking or other noises during your phone calls that are normally not an issue, it could be a sign someone is attempting to access your phone. Abruptly dropped calls could be a problem with your service provider, or a failed hacking attempt. If your service provider cannot provide an explanation as to why these events are happening all of the sudden, a hacking attempt can be considered as the culprit.

Diagnostic Test

If you suspect malicious software may be installed on your smart phone, take it into a retail location of your service provider for a diagnostic test. They should be able to detect and eliminate any intrusive software installed on the phone, or in the worst case scenario, restore it to factory settings.

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