By Menchie Mendoza
One document talked about FinSpy Mobile and how it’s designed to aid the agencies on Law Enforcement and Intelligence to monitor mobile phones and tablet devices from a remote location. It can also gain full entry to stored data, communication, and surveillance devices.
FinSpy Mobile is a software tool that has support to all Android devices, those that run on BlackBerry OS manufactured prior to the latest BB10, Windows Mobile device, and Symbian. In the case of spying on an iPhone, it noted that the user must first jailbreak their device in order to disable Apple’s security.
According to the Washington Post, the tool is capable of stealing contacts, listening to calls on targeted devices, tracking your location, activating the microphone, and so much more. But for FinSpy to successfully hack into an iPhone, the owner must have already stripped away much of the device’s built-in security through a process simply known as ‘jailbreaking.’
The leaked information therefore reiterates that the iOS has always enjoyed more secure features than Android. The FinSpy spyware from the Gamma Group can hook into any types of Android, older Microsoft devices, and Blackberry. However, it can’t touch an iPhone unless its core security is changed by the user through the jailbreaking process.
For the record, FinSpy has already been used for spying on computers in the U.K., Russia, Germany, Bahrain, Iran and the U.S. Recently, the NSA went under fire for its spying activities that targeted the American public. Apple has constantly denied that its products are equipped with backdoors to allow government surveillance.
Apple executives have been touting iOS’s supremacy over other mobile platforms in terms of security features. Consumers who are willing to pay a premium in order to get their hands on the latest iPhone or iPad are also getting a default disk encryption, an anti eavesdropping IM system, and a difficult to almost impossible to crack operating system much to the dismay of companies which claim to have powerful surveillance services.
These features are not usually highlighted in Apple’s marketing ads since most shoppers rarely consider the device’s security as an important feature. They don’t understand the serious consequences brought by becoming a government’s next FinSpy target, a police officer’s or patrol agent’s target for anti-privacy smartphone browsing, and a target for future examination as a result of having the entire contents of their devices copied surreptitiously.
“Technology can protect you from your own government. It can protect you from somebody else’s government. If you live in an authoritarian country, the disk encryption feature built into the operating system may be the thing keeping you safe,” said Christopher Soghoian, ACLU’s principal technologist.