iphone security issue - remote control?

Posted on 2012-08-28
Last Modified: 2012-08-31
Hi All,

I can really use some help here to determine if I have encountered a security issue related to my iphone.  I just rebooted my computer and upon starting up (iphone was plugged in), I noticed the iphone had a blue screen with a moving white curved line which said Remote Control in white, it then changed over to Facetime and attempted to connect to a dummy contact I may have created at some point.

I quickly pushed the home button and it went to the home screen.  I checked the running apps and did not see any such apps running (Facetime, or some app called remote control).

Anyone have an idea of what is going on?  I checked my recent calls to see if anything was showing there - as a facetime call would normall be there - but it was not.

This is an iphone 4s with all the latest patches.
Question by:Gary
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    is this your own iphone or is it a work iPhone with remote admin/help software installed to it?

    does it do it every time that you restart it?

    if you have Iphone and the facebook app it tends to sync all the addresses telephone numbers of one contact from all social networks, i know from own experience as i emailed a work related email to their home email address and they freaked out as no one supposed to know it. Although they had it exposed on their facebook profile so it picked up from there.

    if your iphone it is not jailbroken you have nothing to worry about as apple ecosystem is one of the safest ones.
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    check this link out and see if anyone has done this to your iphone:

    Author Comment

    Hey xmlmagician -

    Thanks for the quick responses.

    This is a personal phone which is not jailbroken.  I do not have the facebook app, but I do have other social media related apps such as linkedin.

    I have looked through your link.  My phone indicates I am running  5.1.1(9B206), so that would confirm that someone has not tampered with the OS, correct?

    The only known remote related app I have is teamviewer, however, I have not run in a while and I believe that is only outgoing.  I will be calling this company to confirm today.  I do have hotspot vpn installed as well, but that should not have anything to do with remote.

    I searched the phone for the word remote and nothing came up there as well.

    I know that IOS is the most secure smartphone os due to its controls, however, this behavior I have seen is extremely concerning and a real serios risk.   If there is some malware or such actually on my phone, it would appear that someone can remote into it and start an unlogged facetime session.

    I am thinking that I need to wipe the phone, remove apps from my itunes and start completely clean?  I really do not want to do this, but are there any other steps I can take to determine the cause of this behavior?
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    hi Drake51

    you should do whatever gives you piece of mind, on a lighter note if you are not a high ranked government official that has recently flown to China and you keep government secrets on your iPhone, wiping the whole thing clean might be a bit extreme:-)

    you are correct you are running the most up to date version of iOS and you are also correct on your comments on teamviewer and the hotspot VPN.

    as i said i am not aware of any iOS virus infiltration software currently that might cause that but again you might be there first.

    i will keep looking, if you could keep us up to date with any developments it would be great.

    thank you
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    What you saw was "Voice Control" not "Remote Control" and the screen you are seeing is the voice control screen.  It has that exact moving white curved line in white in the middle.

    Here is a picture of what your talking about

    And it works just like you described it will try to automatically dial the contact you say or it's best guess of that contact which in this case was a facetime contact.

    Here is some info. about it:

    So the good news is you have nothing to worry about!

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks Guys!

    Dallensworth - That is exactly it.  I am not sure why Siri was disabled, but I had to do  a restore at some point so maybe by default Siri is disabled.   I am still confused why it would have just kicked in, but maybe I tapped a bluetooth headset?

    xmlmagician - Thanks for your help as well.

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