« Back to articlePrint this article

Hacking mobile phones has never been easier!

February 20, 2013 13:55 IST

Hacking has become relatively easier in the age of smart phones and sophisticated software, says Vicky Nanjappa

The recent arrests of a Delhi Police constable and three others -- for trying to access Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley’s phone records -- has pointed to the presence of a well established syndicate which specialises in hacking mobile phones of important personalities.

The police are currently investigating a Delhi-based detective agency called V Detect.

Anurag, the prime accused in the case, is a cyber expert and has earlier used his expertise to help Indian security agencies. An expert at hacking, he has helped the police and intelligence agencies crack several cases.

Investigators are trying to figure out who hired these people to snoop into Jaitley’s call records.

In many cases, such hackers work suo motu and find prospective buyers -- like businessmen and political opponents -- who are likely to pay good money for such records.

Hacking has become relatively easier in the age of smart phones and sophisticated software. It has become more dangerous as well, because the hacker is today able to access a mind-boggling amount of information by hacking into the target’s mobile phone.

A hacker can dig into the call records, text messages and photographs of the target. He can keep a track of his target’s whereabouts through a GPS chip embedded in the phone.

Hackers can even use a method called ‘spoofing’ to hack into the voice mail of a mobile phone. In case the voicemails are protected by a password, the hacker will need a code to access the information.

Since the contact list on the mobile phone can easily be cloned by the hacker, he can keep a tab on which person the target is talking to or messaging.

The latest technology allows the hacker to access the photographs and even the camera on the phone, allowing him to keep a tab on the photographs being taken by the target.

Investigating cases of phone hacking is difficult as the person whose phone has been hacked often remains unaware about the crime. Network providers do not log the number of voicemails. When a hacker deletes a voicemail without the person’s knowledge, it goes undetected.

The police point out that the network providers need to log the number from which the voicemail has been accessed and the victim should lodge a complaint the moment he finds out about the crime.

Vicky Nanjappa