While Apple’s newly discovered FaceTime bug grabs global headlines, experts warn that all mobile devices are vulnerable to privacy exploits.
The vulnerability in FaceTime, discovered by a 14-year-old Fortnite player in Arizona, allows a caller to eavesdrop – and in some cases view live video – of the person being called, even before the recipient has answered. Apple only took the bug seriously when news of the problem spread on social media.
Unfortunately, bugs, hacks, and in many cases legitimate features of mobile devices can be used for eavesdropping and video espionage… and problem extends far beyond Apple products to all mobile device hardware and operating systems.
We see these kinds of security breaches more often than the headlines show. There are numerous ways that phones can be used for eavesdropping. Bugs like the one found on FaceTime come up from time to time, but illicit surveillance can also be enabled through downloaded apps or remote linking into the phone.
As many organizations and individuals have discovered in the past few years, once private information has leaked it is out of your control forever. Which is why the best strategy for avoiding such security breaches is an offensive stance, particularly if you are involved in litigation, divorce proceedings, a child welfare or custody dispute, or just happen to be in a highly competitive field of business. HPI’s Technical Counter Surveillance Measures (TSCM) team is uniquely qualified to help.
We are regularly hired to perform “sweeps” of client offices, homes, vehicles, boats, aircraft, even offsite meeting facilities. Our expanded definition of counter surveillance can include a careful examination of phones and tablets for spyware and improperly configured apps (known as mobile device forensics), as well as detection of stand-alone listening or video devices, and even an assessment of home or office characteristics that may enable human eavesdropping.
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