Phone hacking is an illegal practice used by criminals to intercept a person’s phone and listen in on their calls and voice messages, and even read texts. A lot of personal and valuable information could be gained through this crime, hence why it is important to be fully aware of the practice. Take a look below for 10 crazy and bizarre facts about phone hacking.
1. Phone hackers exploit a vulnerable telecommunications protocol, the Signalling System 7n(SS7). By doing this they can intercept text messages and phone calls.
2. This hack will work for spying on older phones but it is useless against encrypted communications, for example Whatsapp, Apple iMessage and any phone call made over 4G/5G networks.
3. This SS7 hack can only steal data in transit but cannot be used to access data stored on a smartphone.
4. A ’60 Minutes’ feature famously outlined several ways hackers could hijack mobile phones from anywhere in the world to listen in on private conversations, as well as read emails and operate phone cameras to spy on their owners. It spawned a huge debate, and became a big talking point with various political figures stances on the hot topic being brought forward.
5. The biggest source of malware appearing on a person’s phone is caused by high risk apps. This can be a way of making things easier for hackers, especially as outdated devices lack the most common security features.
6. Journalists working for British newspapers were accused of hacking into the phones or celebrities, members of the Royal Family, lawmakers and other figures in the news. The biggest amount of allegations were against the now defunct News of the World, but The Sun and Mirror Group also settled cases.
7. In November 2005 British tabloid News of the World printed a story about Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to the police regarding likely voicemail hacking. This would be the start of a massive newspaper hacking scandal.
8. From 2006 to March 2012 there were 15 journalists and other News International employees arrested in connection with hacking.
9. There are said to have been 5,795 phones hacked by the News of the World according to Met police estimates.
10. It was reported that 2,226 times Glenn Mulcaire was asked to hack phones by News of the World journalists.