You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.
Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.
According to Snowden, the UK’s spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone’s smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack.
GCHQ calls these smartphone hacking tools the “Smurf Suite.” The suite includes:
“Dreamy Smurf” is the power management tool that turns your phone on and off with you knowing.
“Nosey Smurf” is the hot mic tool. “For example,” Snowden said, “if the phone is in your pocket, NSA/GCHQ can turn the microphone on and listen to everything that’s going on around you, even if your phone is switched off because they’ve got the other tools for turning it on.
“Tracker Smurf” is a geolocation tool which allows spies to follow you with a greater precision than you would get from the typical triangulation of cellphone towers.
“Paranoid Smurf” is a defensive mechanism designed to make the other tools installed on the phone undetectable.
Snowden said the NSA has spent close to $1 billion to develop these smartphone hacking programs.
Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.