MOSCOW, 16 Sep — PRIME. Modern smartphones transmit information about their owners to developers of devices or operating systems on a regular basis, and by installing applications, users actually agree with this. However, some of the data about users may well be used against them – and what is said next to the device is no exception, Group-IB digital forensics specialist Igor Mikhailov told Prime.
As an example of the safe collection of data about smartphone owners, the expert cited services that show traffic congestion. “Smartphone geolocation data is automatically transmitted to the servers of operating system development companies, and then sold to the owners of the corresponding services,” he said.
Another thing is listening. “The ability to listen to the surrounding space is a functionality that is found in malware,” he added.
Attackers may be interested in almost any conversation, the expert noted. After all, much of what you hear can be used for fraud or other crimes.
There is no way to completely protect yourself from smartphone surveillance: “mobile spying” is actually a built-in functionality of operating systems. Even when turned off, smartphones continue to exchange data. However, surveillance can be minimized, Mikhailov noted.
If we talk about the risk of being listened to, it is necessary to restrict the access of applications to the device’s voice recorder and its camera.
The specialist also advised not to install applications from unverified sources, remove unused applications, and limit applications’ access to geolocation.