Various Ways your Smartphone can get Hacked

Written by: Destiny Idika Emeka

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Published 3 Years Ago On Friday, November 5, 2021
Updated 2 Years Ago On Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Staying informed about cybercriminals and how they basically operate including how they smartly circumvent their targets is always the first line of defense. 
This article is aimed towards ..educating readers on the possible ways hackers can deploy to hack into their smartphone devices.

There have been incidents where people have ended up losing access to their private data, including photos, emails, and personal documents. Cybercriminals who hack phones don't just do this for fun; they also sell their services, which increases the security risks.
The following enlist some of the prevalent and known ways your smartphone can be hacked/infiltrated.

1. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are incredibly common. That's because they are so effective, without requiring a whole lot of effort. 
In this type of attack, hackers come up with elaborate phishing schemes, and create pages that are designed to look very close to the original. see Major Types of Phishing Attacks scammers use to fool their victims
If you enter your credentials on a phishing site, they are instantly transmitted to the hacker, who can then harvest it and use if for malicious intent.
The worst part of this type of attack is that most people who succumb don't even know they have fallen victim.
It always pays to be wary of any links sent to you through suspicious numbers. Avoid clicking on them and randomly opening attachments or downloads. Avoid entering your personal details into suspicious or unverified web links!

2. The Use of Keyloggers

A keylogger is a piece of software that runs discreetly on any device that it is installed.
Previously, keylogger application were primarily made for computers. But recently, keyloggers can as well be used to hack into cell phones.
Skilled hackers/crackers don't even need physical access to your device in other to install a keylogger in it. If you download and install an illicit app and give it the due permissions (as we commonly do), it could start recording your keys strokes and other activity.
This information is then sent to the hacker. If you were wondering how to hack into someone's phone, this is one of the most effective ways to do so. 
Hence, don't ever install any unverified application into your smartphone.

3. The Control Message Hack

Control messages are generally system messages scripted to gain control of a device. By a mile, this is one of the toughest smartphone hacks to pull off, and it requires specialized knowledge of the operating system's vulnerabilities.
The control message gives hackers access to the settings menu of the victim's smartphone. The worst part is that the victim might never find out that their settings are being controlled.
From there, hackers can easily uncheck several security protocols, thus exposing the device's vulnerability. Then, all it takes is a simple script (could be a JavaScript or python script etc.) to push information from the device onto a separate server.
There have been situation where people get hacked remotely by simply using text messages.

4. Hacking via Spamming

Hacking a cell phone remotely via spamming is a slightly different way of doing things. It's one of the most effective cell phone hacks used for Android devices, primarily because Android devices become more accessible if you have a Gmail account.
In other to execute this type of Hack, Hackers start by writing someone's email ID into Google, and then click on the "Forgot Password" button.
When that happens, Google sends a verification code to the user's actual number. Most people dismiss this message, and that's what hackers generally prey on.
They then send a generic message asking for the verification code, claiming that it will auto-verify. People with limited tech knowledge don't think twice before forwarding the code.
As soon as a hacker gets the code, they add it in, and are able to access their victim's Google account. From there, they change the password, and gain access to their device and other vital information.

5. Spyware Apps

The reason why cell phone hacks are now so common is because spyware apps are so readily available. Many of these apps are designed for suspicious partners or spouses, though they can also be used for more malicious purposes.
Once such application is installed (either through remotely physical), the app runs in the background, and may not be noticed by anyone.
These malicious apps don't show up in the phone's Task Manager, and they however give complete control to the hacker. Such apps can do but are not limited to the following:

  1. Allow the hacker to control the microphone and camera remotely to spy on their victim.
  2. Record all keystrokes and monitor activity, including messages and social media apps.
  3. Track the user's real time location, sending updates to the hacker.
  4. The hacker is also able to access all stored files, including images, videos, emails, and other personal details.

If you want to protect your personal information and avoid becoming the victim of a hack, you need to always be cautious and vigilant. Treat all random links as suspicious, do a substantial research before you visit any link or download any new app. Always install your application from the platform's official App store. example the official App store of Android Operating system is Google Play store etc. Don't ever install an application from a 3rd party App Store; you could be installing a spyware unknowingly.

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