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A CASE STUDY ON ZERO-DAY EXPLOIT - SMARTPHONE SPYWARE HACKS
Thousands of cyberattacks take place every day. However, not every hacking attempt is successful.
Device safety, regular updates applied by software companies, and overall good practice make a tremendous difference.
Staying alert is the best move to protect yourself from cyberattacks. But sometimes, even the smartest people fall prey to hackers.
In this case study, we’ll describe how one of our clients fell victim to a smartphone hack and how we helped him kick the hacker out of his system.
This case is an instance of a smart person falling prey to a hacker’s attack. Our client was a smart, informed, and quite intuitive person. Even before the hacker started blackmailing him, he suspected that something was wrong.
Something was wrong with his smartphone. Telltale signs of a hack started popping up in his phone
When we got hold of his device, our investigators found out the actual reasons and place of origin of the hack.
The incident took off with an app on our client’s smartphone. It injected some malicious script that opened a back door. Using that back door, the hackers planted spyware into his device.
Our investigations revealed that the spyware was, in fact, quite powerful. It didn’t intend to just spy on his device but also spread to his corporate environments as well. The actual target was his office and other big organizations related to him.
If our client hadn’t suspected anything, the spyware could have easily achieved its nefarious goal, making him an accomplice of a more deliberate crime unwittingly.
The spyware got access to every single app and function of his phone, such as:
- Eavesdropping and recording his phone calls
- Recording app usage history
- Recording WhatsApp messages
- Copying his photos, videos, and other stored documents
- Using the camera app to record his daily activities
- Using the GPS tracking data to track his movements
Along with the other functionalities of his smartphone.
Basically, the people on the other end of the spyware could see where he went, how long he stayed there, and what he did with audio, photo, and video if they wanted.
Luckily, the client was a tech-savvy person and he noticed that his phone was acting oddly. It started slowing down for no apparent reason, randomly turning on the mobile data and consuming a lot of it when the phone shouldn’t have, heating up for seemingly no reason at all, etc.
At first, he didn’t think much of it and tried using cleaner apps to fix his phone. But of course, it did not help at all. The phone did not get faster, nor did the data drain stop.
So it got him thinking, but he did not want to jump to any hasty conclusions. As we’ve mentioned before, he was a tech-savvy person. He kept his device relatively safe after all.
He never connected his phone to any public Wi-Fi found in the cafeteria or malls, he never charged his phone with a data cable connecting to a random charging outlet or an unknown PC.
He thought everything he did out of caution gave him a fair bit of security. Unfortunately, it did not. And since his expensive smartphone started acting up, it lead to genuine concern and suspicion, which led to the discovery of a spyware infection scenario.
After initiating the case, it seemed like a standard malware infection scenario. We ran our 5 necessary steps for malware removal:
- Checking for potential threats
- Detecting threats that are present in the system
- Removing all existing threats from the system
- Repairing or restoring all the data that got affected by the malware
- Preventing further malware attacks.
We found out that the spyware had been running its malicious operations while hiding in the smartphone unhindered.
After detecting the malware, we removed it altogether, followed by deep scanning of the device, looking for other malware or vulnerabilities and other dormant scripts that opened the back door.
After taking care of every possible vulnerability and malware lurking in the phone, we secured it against future attacks.
Whenever hackers exploit a phone, the users encounter various issues such as quick battery drain, unexpected data usage, system lags, or unwanted applications running in the background.
In this case, our client faced these issues that helped him realize the malicious attack, and it helped us to detect, remove, repair, and restore his device using our malware removal services.
If you ever notice any unusual activities with your device, don’t wait until it’s too late. TechForing is just a few clicks away
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