How to identify a spy on your device?

Surely you have at least once had thoughts on the vergeparanoia that your device can be controlled by someone, and with the help of it they can spy on you. It is unlikely that the possibility of such surveillance is still surprising to someone, rather, we hope that our data is not interesting to anyone, and hackers will not be interested in our life. In fact, each of us can be a victim of espionage for selfish purposes or even a joke. How to check if your phone is infected with stalker or spyware?

In 2020, Russia leads in the number ofusers who have encountered spyware on mobile devices. The number of such incidents has grown by almost 20 percent in the first 6 months of the year. This suggests that everyone who owns a smartphone should learn how to recognize spyware in order to protect themselves.

What's at stake? Spyware, or stalkerware, allows an intruder to view your photos, files and correspondence on the device, spy on you through a smartphone camera and record conversations. Some of these applications even allow remote control of the victim's device. Why is this still possible?

Legally stalker programs are ingray zone: although cyber espionage is illegal, programs that are identical in functionality, for example, tracking a child's movements, are completely legal (and often it is precisely for them that developers disguise their stalkerware malware). Experts from the Roskachestvo Center for Digital Expertise are already preparing a study of real parental control programs - it will be released soon.

Professional expensive stalker and spywareSoftware is almost impossible to recognize without the help of a specialist. However, such programs are most often used by hackers for special cases, for example, industrial espionage. For the simple user, the instructions below may be helpful. Please do not take the security of mobile devices lightly - it can play a cruel joke on you.

Eliminate infection by other viruses
On the smartphone of an ordinary user, it is oftenThere is a huge number of applications side by side, among which it is quite easy for a malicious program to get lost. However, you don't necessarily have to be spied on. If your smartphone is behaving atypically, it may be a lesser threat. For example, a virus that displays advertisements (adware), which often goes as an appendage to an application downloaded from third-party sites or, in rare cases, even to an application from an official store.

Expert recommendation: Conduct an app revision on your smartphone. If you start to see banners, advertisements on top of other windows, advertising links themselves open, remember exactly when it started and what you installed. Antivirus scanning often helps to sort out this issue faster.

Check the behavior of your device by checklist:
● Have there been any changes to the phone settings that you did not make? For example, downloading applications from unknown sources is now allowed.
● Do you have an application installed that you do not remember downloading?
● The battery is discharging faster,the temperature of the device is increasing, the processes are running slower? This could be due to wear and tear on the battery, but it could also be a sign of increased shadow activity by apps.
● Does the phone restart itself or behave strangely?
● Has the volume of traffic used by the gadget jumped?
● Do you receive notifications when you try to log into your account?
If you answered in the affirmative to at least one question, this is a reason to be wary.
The point of spyware is to be likemay be harder to detect, so serious stalking software can work without provoking these signs. A specialist, however, can detect the presence of a foreign program, for example, by detecting smartphone calls to non-standard external addresses.
Even if the stalker program is identified and"Pressed against the wall", removing it does not always "kill" the spy, who makes copies of himself, deferred tasks and more. Therefore, if you have serious suspicions that the gadget is infected, it is recommended to do a full reset of the device and then configure it from scratch, or contact a cybersecurity specialist.

General guidelines for avoiding spyware infection:
● Do not share your smartphone with others.people. If you charge your smartphone from charging in a public place, make sure that the adapter is powered from the mains and there are no additional electronic devices on the cable.
● Follow the general anti-phishing rules (namelyThe vast majority of infections occur through phishing): do not follow links in emails and instant messengers, keep the antivirus on your computer and smartphone turned on and update it regularly.
● Read reviews and ratings carefullyapplications that are going to be downloaded to the device. Android smartphones are generally less protected due to the features of the open source operating system than the iPhone - there is a risk of catching a virus even when downloading the application from the official Google Play store.
● Do not use Jailbreak (root access, superuser rights, etc.) on your phone. The benefits this provides are not comparable to the emerging privacy threats.
● Check your device's security settings to see if you can install applications from unknown sources. You cannot download applications from unknown sources, period.
● Remove all unnecessary applications to make it easier to navigate the processes and control the device.
● Update your smartphone regularly. If your gadget is not updated, and its support has been completed by the manufacturer, then it's time to change it for security reasons.
● Install wherever possible two-factor authentication (2FA) and a physical pin code on the devices themselves. Change passwords regularly.

Protect your data and keep your smartphone clean in the same way you keep your house tidy. This affects not only the usability, but also the security of confidential data.

Source: rskrf