With all the furore in the news recently about phone-hacking, I’m getting many questions based around the theory: “Is it possible to tap a cell phone remotely?”.
Well, undoubtedly, this can be done with the best technological means. It would be silly to think that our great industrial and political machines wouldn’t have the power to do this by covert means and with all of the electronic and surveillance sophistication at their disposal. But is there anything available to the general public that would do the same sort of job? If so, how does it work and how much does it cost?
One of the first things that needs to be defined is the term “tap a cell phone”. Are we talking about a method of listening to live phone calls (dynamic) or just a means of hacking into the phone’s ‘static’ data so that such things as contact books and call data are visible? Another thing that has cropped up recently with the media storm over phone hacking and tapping scandals is whether we are talking about tapping the phone itself (while it is being used) or simply hacking into the cell phone’s message storage system – which quite often only entails guessing a multi-digit password to access the stored messages.
What we’ve been seeing in the media lately – and what eventually led to the downfall of the News Of The World and, indeed, is still under much public scrutiny, is the way in which celebritys’ and others’ phone answer services had been tampered with by simply guessing, or brute-force guessing (multiple, automated, sustained attempts) the answer service password. These can, and have often been cracked by using people’s birth date digits or some other such pertinent numbers that would be personal (and hence, easy to remember) for the user – yet also easily available out there in the public domain for any hacker to try to break through with. How often have you used a birthday of a loved one or your own as part of an online or electronic password? Try a few combinations such as your age, year and month born and house number and you can see why many of these phone message services have been easily broken into.
If you are asking; is it possible to tap a cell phone remotely by using some sort of software or app that is installed locally onto the target phone – then, yes, it is totally possible and probably more widespread than you would have guessed. There are downloads available online – for not many dollars at all – that somebody with access to your phone could install in a matter of seconds. They would get access to all of your phone’s data such as text messages, emails, call data live (as it happens) beamed to a remote server which they could log into online any time and peruse at their leisure. It costs literally $50 for this kind of software – and the worrying thing is – it’s so well hidden, you’d probably never even know. And this stuff is available online to anybody, legally.
Add a few more dollars on to the top-end and you’ll be able to find an all-singing, all-dancing piece of spyware that will also allow an outsider to listen in to your LIVE phone calls! This is serious spying not too far beyond the realms of a James Bond movie!
So, in summary, is it possible to tap a cell phone remotely? The answer is yes. You should beware, with your increasing reliance on your mobile phone as a means of communication, that the means are out there to exploit it. You also need to be aware that, although legal to purchase online, what you do with such powerful apps are subject to local laws of personal infringement. These matters regarding cell phone spying softwares are not to be taken lightly.