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Researchers Find and Decode the #SpyTools Governments Use to Hijack Phones | #privacy #surveillance

Researchers Find and Decode the #SpyTools Governments Use to Hijack Phones | #privacy #surveillance | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Newly uncovered components of a digital surveillance tool used by more than 60 governments worldwide provide a rare glimpse at the extensive ways law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the tool to surreptitiously record and steal data from mobile phones.

luiy's insight:

The modules, made by the Italian company Hacking Team, were uncovered by researchers working independently of each other at Kaspersky Lab in Russia and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs in Canada, who say the findings provide great insight into the trade craft behind Hacking Team’s tools.

 

The new components target Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry users and are part of Hacking Team’s larger suite of tools used for targeting desktop computers and laptops. But the iOS and Android modules provide cops and spooks with a robust menu of features to give them complete dominion over targeted phones.

 

They allow, for example, for covert collection of emails, text messages, call history and address books, and they can be used to log keystrokes and obtain search history data. They can take screenshots, record audio from the phones to monitor calls or ambient conversations, hijack the phone’s camera to snap pictures or piggyback on the phone’s GPS system to monitor the user’s location. The Android version can also enable the phone’s Wi-Fi function to siphon data from the phone wirelessly instead of using the cell network to transmit it. The latter would incur data charges and raise the phone owner’s suspicion.

 

“Secretly activating the microphone and taking regular camera shots provides constant surveillance of the target—which is much more powerful than traditional cloak and dagger operations,” notes Kaspersky researcher Sergey Golovanov in a blog post about the findings.

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#privacy : The BIG TECH companys and the privacy resposability | #dataawareness

#privacy : The BIG TECH companys and the privacy resposability | #dataawareness | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
The Electronic Freedom Foundation calls out Sonic.net for actively protecting personal data from the government, and Verizon, AT&T and Apple for, well, not.

Via Peter Azzopardi
luiy's insight:

Twitter and Sonic.net took top scores in a new Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) report rating tech companies' stewardship of users' personal data and their willingness to hand over data to the government. The two companies got high marks on each of the EFF's six privacy best practices categories, which include things like "require a warrant for content," "tell users about government data demands," and "publish transparency reports."


On the other end of the scale were Verizon, AT&T and Apple. Verizon failed to get a star in even one category, while AT&T and Apple earned just one apiece. 

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Peter Azzopardi's curator insight, June 9, 2013 10:37 AM

After we have learnt that the National Security Agency's PRISM  programme tapped directly into the servers of most of the web's largest companies, monitoring user's search history, the content of emails, file transfers, and live chats this infographic importance takes on a new meaning.

 

Shame on Verizon, AT&T and Apple!