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Did my smartphone get hacked?

Posted on 2014-09-08
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Last Modified: 2014-10-14
I have an ~ 2 year old Sony smart phone that, just this weekend, has started to turn on the camera and even take pictures.  This seems to certainly be a security hack but I have no expertise in security.  

How do I determine if this is something malicious and, if it is, how to remove this from the phone?  While I am familiar with running PC security applications (Norton, Symantec, kaspersky) daily,  I am unaware of such applications for any brand of smart phone and how to properly secure smart phones.

M3M
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Question by:M3Metal
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4 Comments
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40309761
It could have been hacked but it does not seem likely (at least that is my view). Do you have a backup?  Perhaps reset the phone to factory, restore the backup and see if the problem goes away.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:helpfinder
ID: 40309765
if you do not want to use some security softwre like Antivirus you can try to solve this by reinstall camera, or force close it and clear data and cache (I assume you are sunning Android on it) - if it is not an infection but just an app problem
Also you can do factory defaults, but honestly it is not very popular solution because of data destroy.
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:Ashok Dewan
Ashok Dewan earned 600 total points
ID: 40309777
Go to Settings > check all running applications carefully to find if any suspicious and unknown. Take help from google regarding any running process.
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LVL 64

Accepted Solution

by:
btan earned 900 total points
ID: 40310020
Do try to first get the phone isolated - take out the SIM card and not connected to any WIFI, Bluetooth etc... ideally after saying it is tainted (some checks below and scan to performed) it is to flashed it to default factory if deemed backup can be re-cloned back. Probably you need some internet to get the scanning apps installed first and pls do not connected or sync with your (or any) host PC

For a phone to become infected, its user must install the compromised app; it isn't vulnerable to drive-by downloads and other infection methods, as PCs are (or at least not the known scheme in public hacks).
Try to recall any apps was downloaded before and check further - they can hide themselves esp those with Device administrator privileges (e.g. recent malware called Android:Obad @ http://blog.avast.com/2013/06/17/androidobad-malware-gets-smarter-so-does-avast/#more-15077).
Most apps do not need to these device administrator privileges. Malicious apps with disabled administrator privileges can be removed normally, either by security products or the user.

Can check out the below to install and scan the device too...
 Lookout free Apps for Security & Antivirus
 AVG's free mobile app for Android
Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus

also CheckMyAppsi s a secured apps manager: install and uninstall your mobile apps depending to their threat level. and analyzes your mobile apps' behavior and gives you a report evaluating the safety of your mobile app.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.pradeo.checkmyappspersonal

may want to assess vulnerability with this apps from Zimperium
https://www.zimperium.com/zanti-mobile-penetration-testing

...and if you have the apk for Android, can try scanning using app-ray
http://www.app-ray.de/
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