Cell phone spy programs allow someone to spy on a target phone without their knowledge. These apps are able to access immense amounts of personal data.
But are spy apps safe and secure? It turns out that many have serious security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a malicious attacker.
This makes your choice of spy app incredibly important.
In this article you will learn about some of the most common vulnerabilities in Android cell phone spy apps.
Research shows that people with little to no security experience often develop these apps. This lack of expertise results in many app vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to cause harm to both the spy app user and target.
Are Spy Apps Safe?
Most spy apps are safe because they transmit user data over encrypted channels such as HTTPS. This ensures that data cannot be intercepted by hackers during transmission.
Most spy app companies use military grade encryption to store target and customer data on their servers.
Not all companies take these types of security precautions, so it is important to choose spy software that will not allow your data to be hacked.
5 Spy App Vulnerabilities: Android and iOS
Below are the 5 most common vulnerabilities found in both Android surveillance apps and iOS surveillance software. They range from using insecure transmission of personal information, to unencrypted storage of data.
Insecure Transmission of Target and User Personal Information
All cell phone spy apps collect and transmit target and user personal information. This includes text messages, call logs, photos, videos, and GPS location data. The transmission of this data should be secured using HTTPS and encryption, but many cell phone spy apps do not use appropriate protection measures.
An attacker can exploit this by intercepting the insecure data as it is being transmitted from the target phone to the user. This permits them to access all of the personal information being sent. The attacker can later use it for malicious purposes such as identity theft or stalking.
Storage of Sensitive Data on External Media
Spy applications collect personal information and forward it to its servers for the stalker to view. These apps then store the collected data on external media such as SD cards.
The Android operating system also uses the same storage. An attacker can access the stored data on the SD card through a third-party app. and view all the personal information collected. They can also tamper with this data or delete it. This is only the case with phones running Android 10 or below.
Exposing Private Data to an Unauthorized User
An installed spy app has complete access to all of the data on the target phone. This includes private or sensitive data such as text messages, photos, videos, and call logs. This information is then stored on a server.
Many spy app companies do not have proper security measures enabled on their servers to protect this data from unauthorized access. An attacker can quickly gain access to this data if they know how to exploit the vulnerabilities in the app. This puts both the target and owner at risk of unauthorized access.
Server Leak of User information
Registering for a cell phone spy app requires you to provide personal information such as your name and email address. This information is stored on the server of the cell phone spy app.
The target can identify a spy app on their device through forensic analysis or security software. They may be able to know what information was collected and who had access to it. The only information the victim needs is the device ID.
The target can decide to take legal action or tamper with the information. An attacker can also use this leak to their advantage by targeting the personal data of the victims and owner.
Insufficient Verification of Victim Uploaded Data
Cell phone spy software works by collecting data from the target phone and uploading it to their servers. The challenge is that many of these apps do not verify the data before uploading it.
This vulnerability allows attackers to tamper with the data or insert malicious content. Apps with permissions enabled may get the unique device ID and transmit any data to the server just as the spy app.
Spy App Network Vulnerability
Cell phone spy apps use the Internet to communicate with their servers. If this network communication is not secure, an attacker can intercept data as it is being transmitted and view confidential personal information.
The popular cell phone spy app ‘mSpy’ was first hacked in 2015 as thousands of customer records were leaked. The leaked data contained sensitive information like customer names, email addresses, physical addresses, and payment details.
The hackers could access this data by exploiting a vulnerability in the mSpy network. They were able to gain access to the mSpy servers and customer data through an unsecured remote access point.
This attack highlights the importance of proper security measures for cell phone spy apps. It also shows that even a popular app with a good reputation can still be vulnerable to attacks.
Importance of Encrypting User Data
Encryption is one way to protect data in transit. It’s a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing the information. The only way to read the encrypted data is by using a key, which is only known to the sender and receiver.
All data collected by surveillance software should be appropriately encrypted. This will help protect the data from being intercepted or tampered with by an attacker. The user data should also be stored in a secure location and only accessed by authorized personnel.
Apps like uMobix use military-grade encryption to protect all target phone data. Data is received from devices using an encrypted protocol and immediately starts the encryption process of the data on the uMobix servers.
User credentials are stored in the database and only the password’s hash is stored. It means that uMobix does not store user passwords. This serves as an extra security layer for their account.
You’ll need to download a private key file for each account that you want encrypted with this method and not share it with anyone. You can only download this file once and only use it to reset your password. That’s why it’s essential to choose a password that you’ll remember or write it down and store it in a safe place.
Protecting Yourself and Your Target
Spy apps are a great tool for remotely monitoring someone’s smartphone activity. But it is crucial to select a company that takes the security of yours and your target’s data seriously.
Before selecting an app, be sure they are taking the proper steps to encrypt all data and communication.