So, seriously... Is there a way to install spyware?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cowbellallen, May 9, 2011.

  1. cowbellallen macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    Let me answer up front: I'm not interested in spying on people.

    I do, however, get a lot of people who ask me. I work as the manager of a retail store that sells spy equipment... this includes things like hidden cameras, GPS trackers, and etc. We sell something here as well that pulls all data off an iPhone as long as you know the PIN (if there is one).

    For the past 2 years, I have had hundreds of customers tell me they think their cell phones are bugged and that people are listening in, intercepting texts, and etc. This drives me absolutely nuts because I have yet to hear of anything that actually works. Local news stations talk about how its possible to do all of this, and the internet is flooded with this type of crap. The only thing we have is a program that pulls all data off an iPhone as long as you know the PIN (if there is one) and have the phone connected to a computer.

    I have always told people that I believe most of it is a scam, but that I don't know much about cell phones and can't help them. Just now though, I had a young woman come in saying that she installed software on a Blackberry and that if she dialed the phone number, it would let her eavesdrop. I laughed and said I doubted it.

    She then took out 2 phones, and gave me one to hold. She dialed a number on the phone she had, and to my surprise the phone I was holding automatically accepted the call. I hadn't really seen anything like that before, but I'm not a strong cell phone user. She said she downloaded some software (not going to name it) and that it was like a hundred bucks.

    There has to be some sort of trick she was using. I did some Googling and it seems possible the phone could have just been programmed to auto-answer, but she insists she gets info like GPS locates and texts without having to get the phone back.

    I really don't know what to believe anymore. I get asked the question at least 5 times a day if this stuff is real, and frankly I feel stupid for not knowing better.
  2. ani23 macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2008
    Definitely possible. On stock and updated iphones maybe not. but jailbroken ones for sure.

    others like blackberry, android etc are probably more vulnerable because they arent as locked down as the iphone.

    And of course then you have the government which can justs spy on you at the network level so it doesn't matter what phone you have or software is installed.

    Unfortunately my answers are mostly on why its theoretically possible. what actually exists and works i cant tell.
  3. DirtySocks85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Not that I doubt you, but are you certain that the phone she handed you wasn't set to auto-answer after so many rings, etc (not a native iPhone feature, but could be done on a jailbroken phone), and she wasn't adding you to a 3 way call? Not sure why someone would want to mess with a store employee like that.
  4. cowbellallen thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    Nope. I told her I didn't believe there was anything out there that would let you eavesdrop. She pulled 2 phones from her purse and dialed one of the them from the other. It answered itself after 3-4 seconds and I was somewhat surprised.

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