The security researcher at the University of Luxembourg has confirmed that it is very much possible to hack the Apple iPhones and Android smartphones. The hacking process can turn these two devices into remote listening devices while not letting the user even get a hint about it. The demo to show that iPhone and Androids can be converted to spy machines will be held in coming few days.
The research associate, RalfiPhillip Weinmann at the University of Luxemberg announced to the ComputerWorld that the new technique of hacking will break into the baseband processor of a smartphone. The baseband processor will then send receive signals at it to communicate with the mobile network. The hacker will then be able to listen to the conversation from a remote location. The location to listen to a hacked conversation may be very far off from the spy devices.
Weinmann further said that there are some bugs present in the system of Qualcomm and Infineon. The way that the radio chips of these two companies process signals to GSM network have the problem. In earlier attempts and attacks on iPhone and Android devices have been focused on hacking of the operating systems of these two devices. However, with the new techniques, it will be difficult to attach and hack a smartphone in this manner in real world. As a smartphone is required to communicate with a mobile phone tower, there will be a need to set up a fake cellphone tower. Weinmann said that they will set up this fake cellphone tower and make the mobile phone on target communicate with it. Only when this is done will he be able to send the malicious code across to the baseband processors. Weinmann further said that once the code is running successfully, it can use the auto-answer function of a phone to convert it into a bug. The bug can then be used to eavesdrop on conversations taking place.
It is increasingly becoming easier to set up a fake cell phone tower these days. The research is this area is also increasing and the process of finding new techniques is speeding up. Due to this, there will be more baseband attacks in near future. The world of such techniques of hacking is developing so fast that probably the hackers will be invited to break into cell phones at some important conferences and press meets. The hackers may become very important people in future and they stand to earn some good money from their ability of breaking into the mobile phones.
The governments and various government agencies have been using various techniques of hacking to listen to conversations of people without letting them know about it. They have been using these techniques for wiretapping and the new inventions in this field will be welcome by the government agencies anytime. These days, we are having phones where the batteries cannot be taken out or they cannot be fully turned off. This feature has been built into the phones as a part of law enforcement and this makes the task of hacking easier.