SAN ANTONIO — A woman’s phone was bugged to trace her every move. It’s high-tech spyware that could hijack your phone.
“Leslie” says her ex stalked her for the past five months, taking control of her cell phone to tap calls, texts, and watch her every move.
“I was getting strange text messages, he knew where I was going to be,” describes Leslie, who wanted to disguise her identity in fear of her safety.
“I thought he was cheating, so I began looking [for information on the web], and when he didn’t like what I had found, he began to plaster all of the harrassing messages all over my homepage,” she says.
Leslie had to change her phone twice, and spent thousands of dollars trying to debug her phone. Experts say high-tech spyware was installed on her phone, where a third party could track every activity froma remote computer.
“These programs can do live call tracing, GPS tracking, they can look at your cell phone activity, every voicemail,” describes Computer Forensics expert Scott Broderhausen.
Spyware-related calls to the Computer Doctor in San Antonio have gone up 50% in the last year. Experts say evolving technology is making it difficult to detect.
“[The software] changes its name where it’s just a string of letters and numbers so when you look for it, it may have a different name at a different time,” adds Broderhausen.
Leslie says the problem is being fixed, but the nightmare isn’t over.
“How far has this person gone? How far are they willing to go? I shower with a light off in my home for fear of their cameras. I don’t get on a computer, it’s changed my life completely,” she says.
Some red flags that may indicate your have spyware on your phone include:
-Phone flashing quickly
-Phone is warm when unused
-Unsolicited text messages
-Battery will drain faster
-Spike in SMS activity noticed on bill
FINDING A FIX
What to do if you suspect you have spyware installed:
-Turn off the battery. This way, no one can access your phone, even remotely
-Set a password on your entire phone, not just your voicemail
-Don’t leave phone unattended
-Talk to an expert about having your entire system software reloaded