With the current furore over the phone hacking scandals going on across the world, many members of the public are increasingly looking at ways that they can exploit these methods, either on loved ones that they think are doing a naughty on them, or so that they make sure that their mischievous teens are behaving themselves.
A friend of mine was telling me the other day that he was thinking of hacking into his girlfriend’s cellphone because he was sure that she was sexting other men – if not outright meeting them IRL. The thing is – he wasn’t talking about hacking the cell phone messages like the cases all over the news recently – i.e. the News of The World phone hacking scandal. No – what he was looking at was the various software programs that he had tracked down online that would allow him to literally hack into his GFs phone and allow him to see exactly what she was doing on it.
Apparently this kind of software acts like a bug – it can let you see who the person is sending messages to and who they are receiving them from. Not only that! Some ot the better ones woud even let you tap into a live phone conversation to actually hear each call as it happened. This sounded a bit too sci-fi or James Bond for my liking. Surely such technology wouldn’t be affordable to the common man. This was a trick reserved solely for the realm of secret agents, surely?
Well, to check out the veracity of these claims I started looking into these programs myself – and looking into what people were using them for. One of the most popular programs that I investigated was called Spybubble and I was amazed at the claims of functionality that the manufacturers were making for this smart phone app. Not only could you spy on all text messages and sms going through the cell phone, you could also see all call details, listen in live and even track people’s movements using the phone’s inbuilt GPS. This was every amateur spy’s dream tool! Imagine the dirt you could find out about somebody with software as powerful as this. Bugging your girlfriend’s phone to see if she was cheating on you would be child’s play with this kind of mobile tech.
What I couldn’t believe was the price that the company was offering this app for. OK, I understand this is reproducible software that acts essentially like a smart phone app, but this is a way to hack into somebody’s privacy and see all of their secret communications. I could not believe that you could pick this up for $50 and when I saw that price I was dubious that the software could really perform all the functions that it made out that it could.
There were the moral implications, of course, of going down the route that was basically a form of invasion of privacy. And I’d have to admit I’d also be worried about the legal implications of such a course of action. Taking this further I did look at the Terms and Conditions for the site to see what they said about the legality. As expected, the software was legal to buy – but they would take no responsibility for any outcomes of its use. To be fair to them, they did mention that the act of using this software on anybody that was unaware that it was being used to spy against them would, in many cases, prove to be illegal.
That said, I wonder with all the recently reported cases of top companies and police and governments using hacking techniques on citizens, how much the everyday person would worry about the repercussions of using phone hacking software like this. I can only offer the suggestion that if you are about embark on a journey that involves hacking into your girlfriend’s cell phone, then you take legal advice before you do so.
The software appears to be compatible with most internet active smart phones – so all Android, iPhone, Symbian and Windows phones are supported. For this kind of price and all the features that they are touting, Spybubble appears to be the best in class for this ever popular spyware. I don’t know how many people are using this software to hack into their girlfriend’s, boyfriend’s, wives or husband’s phones – but it appears to be big business and seems to reflect a growing movement of big brother-style technology solutions that can be used for better or for worse.