Is someone else controlling your smartphone? - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Is someone else controlling your smartphone?

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Could your smartphone and all of its information be on the black market right now? It happens every day, but how frequently remains unknown.

It's next to impossible to discover you've become a victim until it's too late.

What some people may take for granted is the fact that a smartphone is essentially a small, mobile computer. One simple text message could open your phone to sinister minds.

"This could be happening to you right now –- to anyone," warns security researcher Georgia Weidman.

Cell phones are great for doing work, but what if your device is doing work for someone else? That's what mobile botnets are all about.

Weidman showed FOX5 what a simple text message can do. A malicious text message can open your phone to a cell phone referred to as a "botnet" by way of a hidden virus. The bot manager can then access your phone's contact list and send spam to your friends and family.

Your phone will still work the same way, and you probably won't even realize something is wrong.

"You are effectively preying on people's intelligence," said Wayne Burke, master trainer with EC Council.

Your phone can be infected a number of ways, but most commonly through a text message or email.

"Really, the sky's the limit," Weidman explained. "Anything the phone can do, now someone else can do. [It can be sent] from anywhere in the world."

The chief concern is your information being sold on the black market. Advertisers could have a field day with nothing but spam.

Experts advise updating your phone software whenever possible to weed out attacks.

The nation's leading technology safety experts are in Las Vegas for the TakeDownCon conference at the M Resort.

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