Ever been discussing some product to your friends and then had an ad for it appear on your iPhone the next day? It’s happened enough that people want to know “Is my phone listening to me all the time?”
A group of computer scientists decided to test this phobia, which they dubbed panoptispy: the fear that everyone is being spied on.
Apple’s strict approach to iOS software means that spyware very rarely makes its way onto our iPhones or iPads. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t at risk. A piece of mobile spyware called FinFisher, developed by U.K.-based Gamma Group, is capable of making its way onto your iPhone and recording your every move without you knowing it.
The software can secretly turn on your handset’s microphone to listen to your conversations, it can track your location, and even monitor your emails, text messages, and calls.
Your iPhone could be spying on you, according to the latest trove of documents from Wikileaks, which looks like it could be the biggest scandal yet.
Called the Spyfiles, it’s a trove of documents about the “mass interception industry” — the massive post-9/11 surveillance community that electronically snoops on entire populations.
The industry is selling software to government agencies — some of it delivered by Trojans — that can take over your iPhone. It can track its every use, follow your movements (even in standby), recognize your voice, record conversations, and even capture video and audio from the room it is in.
The Carrier IQ scandal has broken everywhere since we first reported it yesterday morning. The invasive rootkit is installed on over 140 million phones the world over, and logs everything you do with your device, from the numbers you dial to the smutty pictures you send to your girlfriend.
Yesterday, we reported the story as one proving Steve Jobs right about how Android tracks everything you do, but a day later, things seem a lot less black and white. Carrier IQ’s software comes pre-installed on other devices besides Android, like BlackBerrys and Nokias, and as even the name of the software suggests, seems to be something installed by carriers. And, as it turns out, some iPhones. Luckily, disabling it is the easiest thing in the world, and it logs none of your personal information, unlike the software’s more nefarious Android counterpart.