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Monday, May 26, 2008

Hackers cracking mobile phones, warn experts

New Delhi: Much to the discomfort of mobile users, hackers, who are already wrecking websites and e-mails, are now targeting cell phones as well. Hackers are intruding mobile phones using hacking tools like spyware and spoofing, according to cyber experts.

Spyware is a tool which manipulates short message service (SMS) and allows them to be read by others, while spoofing, replaces mobile number of sender’s message, they said.

Explaining the functions of spyware, a Delhi-based cyber expert said, “A hacker sends an SMS to the targeted person. The person opens the message, installing spyware onto the device. The spyware, unknown to the victim, takes the SMS and forwards it to the hacker.”

Once installed, the hacker can monitor the ‘compromised’ phone call details and can even listen to the calls made or received by the user, Rajat Khare Director of Information security consulting firm Appin said.

However, it’s very difficult for the user to find out whether his/her phone has been hacked.

Besides spyware, SMS spoofing is another tool which hackers are widely using, Mr. Khare said.

Spoofing is used for changing the identity of source of SMS either with text or any desired number.

The Asian School of Cyber Law on its website stated an incident where “a young lady received an SMS from her husband’s cell phone informing her that he had had an accident and was at the hospital and urgently needed money. On receiving the SMS, she rushed out of the house with the money. She was attacked and robbed by the person, who had sent her the spoofed SMS.”

Spoofing has legitimate uses as well. A firm can set the company name in place of the number from which the message is being sent. — PTI


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