There was a recent article in the Indianapolis Star newspaper about a “computer virus” that can hear what is said. The article was actually an Associated Press piece written by Raphael Satter and Amy Teibel out of London. And the “virus” was more than likely spyware.
It has been dubbed the “Flame Virus” and it actually attacked computers in the Middle East, specifically Iran. Russian Internet Security firm, Kaspersky Lab ZAO says it can be used to spy on everything that a user is doing. It is believed to have been crafted at the behest of a national government (inferred to be Israel) that sees Iran as a threat.
The reason we say the virus was more than likely spyware was because of the way it was used. According to the article, it was used to “activate a computer’s audio system to listen in on Skype calls or office chatter. Steal data from Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.”
That is much more like cell phone spyware than a computer virus. A virus makes your computer crash or performs oddly. Spyware is used to get information and convey it to some bad guy somewhere else.
Cell phone spyware is used to get information – such as who you are talking with and about what. The bad guy can identify who you are talking with and listen in on calls. They can even intercept text messages. Not only that, cell phone spyware can also activate GPS capabilities and let a bad guy know where you are every minute you go through your day with that cell phone in your pocket or purse.
Even though mobile phone spyware is illegal in the United States, it is not in other parts of the world accessible by the Internet. With a digital search, a few hundred dollars (or less, in some instances), and the opportunity to send an email or a chance to gain access to your phone, mobile phone spyware can be downloaded and activated on most all smart phones – just like the one you use.
It’s becoming more and more common and that’s why we know about it here at We have the cell phone forensic team you need to find out if your phone has been accessed. If there is a reason anyone would want information from you – a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend, a business competitor or anyone who knows something about you that you can’t figure out how they know, the answer might be right in your hand!
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations