America’s top spooks have shared their best advice on preventing others from accessing your smartphone and stealing your data – and it’s almost too easy.
US Senator Angus King is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees the country’s espionage services, including the CIA and NSA. Last year his security detail let him know how best to protect his work phone and he finally shared it with the world.
It only takes two easy steps, the AP reported. “Step 1: switch off the mobile phone. Step 2: Turn it back on. ”Turn it off, turn it on: One simple step can thwart top phone hackers
Yes, the IT crowd was right – the humble restart can really fix any technical problem. It works especially well when done regularly, the spies said: It should do about once a week.
The reboot works because intruders often break into your phone with temporary memory hacks. Android and iOS usually have strong firewalls around core parts of their operating systems, so that hooking up to less protected “in-memory payloads” is faster and easier.
Fortunately, turning your phone off and then back on will delete all of those temporary files, including malicious files. This means that hackers have to work harder to sift through your data.
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Security expert Patrick Wardle told AP: “Opponents have come to the conclusion that they don’t have to go on. If they could pull up and exfiltrate all of your chat messages, contacts, and passwords, it would be game over anyway, wouldn’t it? “
Protecting your phone is important even if you think you have nothing to hide. It’s essentially a huge folder of sensitive information that you almost always carry around with you. Hackers could search for your location data, contacts, passwords and photos and even secretly record you.
This applies even if you haven’t done anything risky, such as clicking a spam link or a spam email. Today, sophisticated attackers are increasingly using exploits that require no action from you. Frighteningly, these “zero-click” hacks can invisibly download a virus onto your phone without warning.
The news comes a week after an incredibly powerful spyware called Pegasus was discovered. Researchers discovered that the hacking software silently infected thousands of smartphones and took over the camera and microphone to spy on conversations and phone calls. Many of his victims were political leaders, journalists and activists who were the target of spam WhatsApp calls.