What does "hacked" mean with reference to mobile phones.

  Aitchbee 14:09 06 Jul 2011

Can it be prevented? Is this the tip of the privacy iceberg?

  Confab 14:22 06 Jul 2011

In order to access a voice message left on a mobile phone you have to enter a four digit security number - your PIN. Unfortunately most people can’t be bothered to change their PIN from the factory default so it’s pretty easy for anyone to call your voicemail and listen to your messages. Not really hacking as such but that’s my understanding of it.

  Quickbeam 14:27 06 Jul 2011

Most of our voicemails aren't worth the bother of security coding. Confab's post just reminded me that I could if I ever decided that "I'll be home in ten, run the bath and get the dinner on", needed to be secure.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:30 06 Jul 2011

Hacked can mean two things

  1. On locked phones - the phone is unlocked to allowing you to use any phone service provider not just the one that supplied the phone.

  2. You conversation or ext messages are being intercepted by someone other than the person you are calling.

Not exactly difficult as most phone calls and texts are not encrypted.

My last company recorded all calls on their mobiles (outgoing and incoming) and saved them, they could pull up calls made as far as a couple of years back, in disciplinary cases.

Is this the tip of the privacy iceberg?

Walk down any main street and your on CCTV, all your details for your car / driving license / TV license / passport / gas, electric, telephone broad band bills tec. are all on a big server somewhere

Privacy disappeared a long while ago in this country for the common person.

  SimpleSimon1 15:25 06 Jul 2011

And considering that the term "hacker" used to be a compliment for anyone with enough knowledge to get below the user interface and sort out problems, it's really irritating that it is now used as a pejorative.

For that matter, does anyone know when it ceased to be used as a compliment?

  proudfoot 15:50 06 Jul 2011

Would I be protected if I wore my hacking jacket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  interzone55 16:37 06 Jul 2011

*Fruit Bat /\0/*

Digital mobile phones - i.e. any phone made after about 1995, are fiendishly difficult to eavesdrop, the older type could be picked up on a good short wave radio, but digital calls are encoded, so not easy to "hack" into without some very expensive kit.

Having said that, I had a meeting this morning with a chap from the company that makes the kit used by the CIA & NSA to listen into mobile calls, he works in a totally different division that manufactures CCTV hardware, so he could give me few details. The same kit, without the wireless intercept hardware, is used by 80% of call centres to record phone calls.

I assume your company routed all calls through a central phone system, as I can't believe they had the facility to record a call placed from a mobile phone otherwise.

As for voice mail hacks, this is so simple it's untrue. Basically, almost no-one changes the default pin on the voicemail box, so you just phone the network voicemail number, enter the number of the phone whose messages you want, then tap in 1234 and bob's your uncle.

My network, O2, play a message each time you pick up your messages from your phone reminding you to change your PIN if it's left at default. It's a no brainer to change the pin, because you only use it when picking the messages up from a different phone, and it prevents tabloids from finding out which pub you're meeting in after work on Friday...

  proudfoot 17:11 06 Jul 2011

It is surprising how many people use their birth date as a PIN No. I did this for while until I realised if I lost my wallet with my Driving Licence in and my cards in I would be vulnerable. I now use a sequence of numbers that only have significance to me.

  oresome 17:32 06 Jul 2011

I believe hacking went beyond simply accessing and listening to voice mail. After all, journalists could do this themselves without paying out large sums of money to third parties.

Call centre staff were duped into giving out information in less enlightened times regarding phone records and there appears to be evidence of corruption within the police investigating major crimes and of some staff working at phone companies.

While listening to actual conversations may be difficult, a timeline of who has been talking to who and for how long as evidenced on the bill may help a journalist no end with a story.

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