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The stalker in your pocket Mike Elgan / Computerworld For most of a century, order cheap herbal testosterone nosey people, order cheap herbal testosterone both professional and amateur, order cheap herbal testosterone have used microphones and cameras to listen to and watch unsuspecting targets. In recent years, order cheap herbal testosterone the miniaturization of electronics has enabled these devices to be hidden.Extreme drops in price have made spy electronics available to anyone, order cheap herbal testosterone even creepy stalker types. The only remaining challenge is placement: If anyone wants to capture the juicy tidbits, order cheap herbal testosterone they've got to have a microphone or camera in the right place at the right time. Enter the camera phone, order cheap herbal testosterone a dream come true for not just spies but a new breed of "cell phone stalkers." Camera phones contain all the necessary ingredients for completely invasive stalking: a microphone, order cheap herbal testosterone camera, order cheap herbal testosterone personal data on the user, order cheap herbal testosterone location information, order cheap herbal testosterone a chat and call history -- you name it. And victims carry them everywhere they go. All that's missing is the software that lets stalkers take control. This new software, order cheap herbal testosterone called snoopware, order cheap herbal testosterone does just that. Order cheap herbal testosterone Snoopware -- both legal and illegal -- enables stalkers to secretly seize control of a phone's electronics to listen, order cheap herbal testosterone watch and spy on their victims. Welcome to the creepy new world of cell phone stalking. Although cell phone stalking is new, order cheap herbal testosterone there's already plenty of bad information, order cheap herbal testosterone urban legends and false beliefs about it in circulation.  I'm going to sort all this out for you, order cheap herbal testosterone tell you about what's possible and how to protect yourself (it's easier than you think). Order cheap herbal testosterone But first, order cheap herbal testosterone let's look at the first and most celebrated case to date of this new world of cell phone stalking. Meet the Kuykendalls I told you in a previous column about a family in Washington state called the Kuykendalls, order cheap herbal testosterone who say that a hacker was stalking them through three of their cell phones for more than four months. The stalker seemed to perform unprecedented cell phone superhacks, order cheap herbal testosterone according to press reports. For example, order cheap herbal testosterone he watched them through their phones' cameras and listened through the microphones. Order cheap herbal testosterone When they turned off the phones, order cheap herbal testosterone the hacker turned them back on remotely, order cheap herbal testosterone seized control of the phones and sent text messages from them. When they got new phones, order cheap herbal testosterone the hacking continued. Even scarier, order cheap herbal testosterone they received almost daily threats of violence from an anonymous caller, order cheap herbal testosterone who seemed to be calling from a family member's own phone, order cheap herbal testosterone even when that phone was turned off, order cheap herbal testosterone and provided details about what they were doing and even what they were wearing. In addition to the Kuykendalls, order cheap herbal testosterone the family's neighbor and Mrs. Order cheap herbal testosterone Kuykendall's sister were also harassed by the anonymous caller. Although the mainstream press played up these events as some kind of terrifying superhack, order cheap herbal testosterone I think something much more ordinary is going on. The most likely explanation, order cheap herbal testosterone based on the limited information publicly available, order cheap herbal testosterone is that some malicious script kiddie, order cheap herbal testosterone who knows the family personally, order cheap herbal testosterone pulled off one or two simple hacks, order cheap herbal testosterone then "socially engineered" the family into thinking he'd done something more impressive. For example, order cheap herbal testosterone a combination of spoofing one of the family's cell phone's Caller ID, order cheap herbal testosterone which is easy to do, order cheap herbal testosterone and using that trick to retrieve voice mail, order cheap herbal testosterone plus possibly hacking the carrier's Web site to change ringtones and cause other mischief. Order cheap herbal testosterone These steps, order cheap herbal testosterone combined with old-fashioned spying on the family in person, order cheap herbal testosterone could explain nearly all the superhacking claims. Hacked? Yes. Order cheap herbal testosterone Disturbing? Very. Order cheap herbal testosterone Illegal? Absolutely. But it's a far cry from the picture painted in the press of some unstoppable arch-villain mastermind. Experts interviewed on TV and in the newspapers answer "yes" to the question, order cheap herbal testosterone "Is this kind of hack possible?" And, order cheap herbal testosterone in fact, order cheap herbal testosterone it is possible, order cheap herbal testosterone but spectacularly unlikely. To pull off the Kuykendalls' superhack described in the press, order cheap herbal testosterone the family would have to repeatedly buy high-end camera phones, order cheap herbal testosterone such as Windows Mobile, order cheap herbal testosterone BlackBerry or other devices, order cheap herbal testosterone leave Java support on, order cheap herbal testosterone keep Bluetooth on and in "autodiscovery" mode, order cheap herbal testosterone or give the hacker full physical access to the phones to install several snoopware applications. What's possible? Snoopware is on the rise, order cheap herbal testosterone mostly because of the increasing sophistication of phones. Order cheap herbal testosterone They're like mini-PCs. Order cheap herbal testosterone Most snoopware attacks have taken place in Europe and Asia. Order cheap herbal testosterone But they're coming to America. Security experts estimate that there are more than 400 types of snoopware (most of them variants of a few major snoopware programs), order cheap herbal testosterone and that figure may top 1, order cheap herbal testosterone000 by the end of the year. Your typical new snoopware program might enable someone to listen to phone calls and read e-mail and text messages, order cheap herbal testosterone or steal contacts and other data. Order cheap herbal testosterone Some snoopware can use your phone's microphone to listen, order cheap herbal testosterone even when the phone is supposedly "off." Other programs can capture images from a camera phone's camera. Snoopware is the kind of software used by the government to eavesdrop on gangsters and terrorists. But snoopware isn't the only way to stalk via cell phone. Most carriers offer a "skip passcode" feature that lets you turn off voice mail password-checking when you call from your cell phone. Order cheap herbal testosterone But because carriers use Caller ID to verify the phone, order cheap herbal testosterone cell phones "spoofing" another phone's number can get in, order cheap herbal testosterone enabling hackers to access your voice mail and other features without ever knowing the password. Semilegitimate snoopware programs called Mobile Spy from Retina-X Studios and FlexiSpy from Vervata run invisibly and upload text messages and phone logs to an online server. Order cheap herbal testosterone They can also upload location information. Order cheap herbal testosterone Mobil Spy runs only on Windows Mobile phones, order cheap herbal testosterone while FlexiSpy offers versions for Series 60 Nokia phones, order cheap herbal testosterone BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones. Order cheap herbal testosterone A Pro version of FlexiSpy enables eavesdropping through cell phone microphones when you call a dedicated phone number. Order cheap herbal testosterone A future Pro-X version will let you listen in on calls in progress. The companies target concerned parents, order cheap herbal testosterone suspicious spouses and distrustful bosses, order cheap herbal testosterone but obviously a malicious hacker could use them for cell phone stalking. Sounds bad. Order cheap herbal testosterone But be aware that these programs require physical access to the phone for installation, order cheap herbal testosterone and they're easy to detect. Order cheap herbal testosterone The security software companies generally consider these applications as malware, order cheap herbal testosterone and alert users to their presence. How to beat cell phone stalkers The best cure is prevention. Order cheap herbal testosterone Don't allow strangers to gain access to your phone. Like any other kind of software, order cheap herbal testosterone snoopware doesn't install itself. Order cheap herbal testosterone The leading methods for installation are physical access installation, order cheap herbal testosterone where the user installs by clicking on an attachment or link; or via Bluetooth. Order cheap herbal testosterone By preventing potential stalkers from touching your phone, order cheap herbal testosterone never clicking on e-mail attachments or links from strangers, order cheap herbal testosterone and turning off Bluetooth autodiscovery, order cheap herbal testosterone you'll keep snoopware off your phone. The fact is, order cheap herbal testosterone snoopware hacks are dangerous only if you're unaware of them. Order cheap herbal testosterone Once you suspect someone is using your cell phone to spy on you, order cheap herbal testosterone it's trivially easy to stop them. Let me count the ways: 1. 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Order cheap herbal testosterone But by re-enabling a good password, order cheap herbal testosterone it will be much easier to keep your voice mail private. 3. Order cheap herbal testosterone Downgrade your cell phone. Order cheap herbal testosterone Snoopware works only on the most advanced phones. Order cheap herbal testosterone For nontechnical users like the Kuykendalls, order cheap herbal testosterone one simple solution is to swap out your high-end phone for a cheaper model that doesn't support Java or Bluetooth and doesn't have a camera. Order cheap herbal testosterone This isn't a good solution for gadget fans, order cheap herbal testosterone but for families feeling terrorized, order cheap herbal testosterone this is a cheap, order cheap herbal testosterone fast and easy way to get control. 4. Order cheap herbal testosterone Switch carriers. Order cheap herbal testosterone There's not much you can do at the handset level to foil a hack of the carrier's Web site. Order cheap herbal testosterone If the company can't shut down the hacker, order cheap herbal testosterone switch to another carrier. 5. Order cheap herbal testosterone Buy an anonymous prepaid phone. Order cheap herbal testosterone The last-ditch solution (just before going without a cell phone) is to buy a prepaid phone from 7-Eleven or a similar store. Order cheap herbal testosterone This provides not only the benefits of a low-tech cell phone and a new carrier, order cheap herbal testosterone but greater anonymity. The cell phone stalker trend is real. Order cheap herbal testosterone But simple, order cheap herbal testosterone common-sense precautions can protect you and your family from malicious harassment. Link to original article:  http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9027438&source=rss_news10 Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Order cheap herbal testosterone Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog, order cheap herbal testosterone The Raw Feed.