Security news

iPhone Passcode Bypass Hack Exposes Contacts And Photos

iPhone Passcode Bypass Hack Exposes Contacts And Photos

Flaw in Apple’s iOS 12 allows an attacker to access contacts and photos in iPhone XS model

A passcode bypass vulnerability has been discovered in Apple’s new iOS version 12 that could allow an attacker to access photos and contact details on a locked iPhone XS as well as other Apple devices.

Jose Rodriguez, a Spain-based clerk who claims to be an Apple enthusiast, discovered the vulnerability released a video on his YouTube channel under the account name Videosdebarraquito that shows a complicated 37-step bypass process in Spanish.

The process involves tricking Siri, Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader feature, and Notes application. The video also shows that the method works on iPhones running the iOS 12.1 beta and iOS 12, including models which have Face ID or Touch ID biometric security.

However, in order to take advantage of the vulnerability, the targeted iPhone must be in the hands of the attacker to work. The vulnerability allows the attacker to access images by editing a contact and changing the image associated with that contact.

Although Apple had built in some security measures to stop this from taking place, the video below shows that Rodriguez figured out a way to sidestep those security barriers.

The above bypass method has been authenticated by an independent news site, Threatpost. This passcode bypass works on any iPhone running iOS 12 and on various iPhone models including iPhone XS. Besides this, the hack also allowed access to other features such as the entire address book, it allowed to make calls, and create a custom text message.

It appears that the flaw has not been patched by Apple with the iOS 12.1 beta. The Cupertino giant has yet to comment on the issue.

For those concerned can prevent this attack by navigating to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (that’s Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (on iPhones with Touch ID) and disabling the Siri toggle under the “Allow access when locked” menu.

Also Read: iPhone XS And iPhone XS Max: Specifications, Features, And Pricing

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Telegram desktop app leaked IP addresses during voice call

Telegram desktop app leaked IP addresses during voice call

Telegram desktop app leaked IP addresses in calls – Patch released

Instant messaging app Telegram has released a fix that caused the messaging app to expose users’ IP addresses during voice calls.

Dhiraj Mishra, a security researcher, discovered a vulnerability (CVE-2018-17780) in the official Desktop version of Telegram (tdesktop) for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Telegram Messenger for Windows apps that exposed and recorded the IP address of a user by default while taking a call due to its peer-to-peer (P2P) framework.

The app leaked both public and private IP addresses during voice calls. Although users can disable P2P calls option in iOS and Android, they do not have an option to turn off the feature in the desktop client of the app and its Windows application.

Users can change settings to disable the visibility of their IP address. “Telegram is supposedly a secure messaging application, but it forces clients to only use P2P connection while initiating a call, however this setting can also be changed from “Settings > Privacy and security > Calls > peer-to-peer” to other available options,” Mishra said.

“The tdesktop and telegram for windows breaks this trust by leaking public/private IP address of end user and there was no such option available yet for setting “P2P > nobody” in tdesktop and Telegram for Windows.”

Dhiraj reported the issue to Telegram along with a proof of concept video and got €2,000 as a bug bounty reward. The company promptly issued a fix for the issue in v1.3.17 beta and v1.4.0 of Telegram for desktop to disable the P2P settings.

ALSO READ: 10 Cool Telegram Messenger App Tricks That You Must Know (2018)

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Facebook Hack: Massive Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Facebook Hack: Massive Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Is Facebook really safe? Well, these days we came across with tons of news related to Facebook account hacks and all.

The biggest social media company in the world is really struggling very hard to keep its user’s data safe and sound. But there are some notorious hackers who swiped the sleep of Facebook’s security researchers team.

Also Read- Top 10 Ways That Hackers Use To Hack Facebook Accounts

Recently Facebook said that over 50 million of its users’ data is left exposed by a security flaw. The company also said that by taking the advantage of this flaw, hackers somehow managed to exploit a vulnerability in a feature known as “View as” to get an access over people’s accounts.

The breach was discovered on Tuesday and Facebook immediately informed the police after that.

Now, as a result, the users who got affected by this attack were bound to re-log-in on Friday.

What is ‘View as’

It’s a feature from Facebook which allows people to see, how their profile looks to others. In short how their information is displayed to friends or friends of friends or to anyone.

Hackers discovered so many bugs in this feature which ultimately allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens. These Facebook access tokens could be used to take over people’s accounts and they did exactly this. Facebook has temporarily disabled this feature to investigate more on it.

According to Mr. Ronsen “Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.” He then said that the breach comes into the picture when the firm is struggling to convince lawmakers in the US and beyond, that it is capable of protecting user data.

In the face of constant attacks. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO or co-founder of Facebook) at the conference call on Friday said that company is taking security seriously.

He also posted about this attack on his Facebook account

Who got affected?

Offcourse facebook won’t be ever admitting who were those 50 million users. But they have informed Irish data regulators where Facebook’s European subsidiary is based.

The users who are affected were prompted to re-log-in on Friday as they don’t have any other option. The company also said that users need not worry about the password change.

Facebook team has just started their investigation process. They are not sure if the accounts are misused or not. They also don’t know who did that? and from where they belong from.

At last, the flaw is fixed. Confirmed by the head security of the firm Guy Rosen. He also said that all the affected accounts had been reset. Plus they even did the same for another 40 million as a precautionary step.

By this news, Facebook which has more than two billion monthly active users saw its share price drop by more than 3% on Friday.

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Google admits third-party developers can access users’ Gmail inbox

Google admits third-party developers can access users' Gmail inbox

Google still allows third-party developers to scan your Gmail accounts

In July this year, we had reported how Google is allowing third-party app developers access to user’s private messages in Gmail.

Now, the search giant has officially admitted in a letter to US lawmakers that it allows third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts, even though Google itself has stopped the practice for the purpose of ad targeting last year.

“Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data,” wrote Susan Molinari, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the Americas at Google in the letter sent to the US Senators in July, which was made public on Tuesday.

Also Read- Worried about privacy, forget Google and try these search engines

Molinari also reiterated that Google employees can read Gmail users’ email content only in cases where a user has given consent, or where the content is required to be inspected by the company for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse.

She wrote that the company ensures that the relevant privacy policy is “easily accessible to users to review before deciding whether to grant access.”

In the letter, the company said that it thoroughly vets any third parties that are granted 9access, and also manually reviews privacy policies and uses computer tools to detect any significant changes to the behavior of the apps.

Suzanne Frey, Google’s director of security, trust, and privacy explained in a blog post in July that Google grants certain permissions to third-party apps and services in order to enhance the experience for Gmail users.

“We make it possible for applications from other developers to integrate with Gmail – like email clients, trip planners and customer relationship management (CRM) systems – so that you have options around how you access and use your email.” Ms Frey wrote.

Any non-Google app first goes through a “multi-step review process” before accessing a person’s Gmail messages that includes assessing the app’s privacy policy to ensure that it’s a legitimate app, Ms Frey said.

“We strongly encourage you to review the permissions screen before granting access to any non-Google application,” she added.

Those who do not wish third-party apps scan your emails, then it is suggested that you can either uninstall extensions that you don’t trust and use apps from reputed developers or choose not to install the apps at all.

Source: WSJ

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Mirai botnet masterminds helping FBI to avoid jail time

Mirai botnet masterminds helping FBI to avoid jail time

Mirai botnet creators avoid prison time by assisting FBI as part of their sentencing

Remember the three young hackers who were sentenced in December last year for creating and spreading Mirai botnet that took over about 500,000 IoT devices and caused a DDoS attack?

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday sentenced all the three men, Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, all aged in their 20s, to just five years of probation—no prison time. The decision was announced after U.S. prosecutors said that the three men had provided “extensive” and “exceptional” assistance to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in several cybersecurity matters.

The trio will also have to serve 2500 hours of community service and need to pay US$127,000 (A$175,000) in restitution each. Additionally, the trio voluntarily surrendered significant amounts of cryptocurrency seized during the investigation into their activities, the DOJ said.

“By working with the FBI, the defendants assisted in thwarting potentially devastating cyber attacks and developed concrete strategies for mitigating new attack methods,” US attorneys said in a motion filed Sept. 11. “The information provided by the defendants has been used by members of the cybersecurity community to safeguard US systems and the Internet as a whole.”

For those unaware, Jha, White and Norman had created Mirai botnet originally to take down rival Minecraft servers with distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). The trio used the botnet for their own criminal activities and leased it to others. But after noticing its strength, Mirai was released into the wild on a hacker forum, the DoJ said. Since then, other criminal actors have used Mirai variants in a variety of other attacks.

As a result, the Mirai botnet was used in a massive cyberattack in October 2016 against DNS service Dyn, an internet company that directs traffic on the web, which interrupted access to dozens of websites across the United States and Europe including ones run by Twitter, PayPal Holdings, and Spotify.

The three also admitted to having developed a second piece of malware that attacked IoT devices such as wireless cameras, routers, and digital video recorders and joined them into a botnet. That botnet compromised over 100,000 devices in the U.S., and was used by the trio primarily in advertising fraud, including “clickfraud,” a type of Internet-based scheme that makes it appear that a real user has “clicked” on an advertisement for the purpose of artificially generating revenue.

“Cybercrime is a worldwide epidemic that reaches many Alaskans,” said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder. “The perpetrators count on being technologically one step ahead of law enforcement officials. The plea agreement with the young offenders, in this case, was a unique opportunity for law enforcement officers, and will give FBI investigators the knowledge and tools they need to stay ahead of cybercriminals around the world.”

“The sentences announced today would not have been possible without the cooperation of our partners in international law enforcement and the private sector,” said Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Anchorage Field Office, Jeffery Peterson.

“The FBI is committed to strengthening those relationships and finding innovative ways to counter cybercrime. Cybercriminals often develop their technical skills at a young age. This case demonstrates our commitment to hold criminals accountable while encouraging offenders to choose a different path to apply their skills.”

Jha, White, and Norman who were behind the Mirai botnet had pleaded guilty last December and were able to stay out of jail by co-operating with the FBI on cybercrime and security matters.

The court’s documents state that the trio has cooperated with the FBI for more than a year and that they will continue to work with the FBI on cybercrime and cybersecurity matters.

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Developer of Terrarium TV says he could hand over user info to authorities

Developer of Terrarium TV says he could hand over user info to authorities

Details of Terrarium TV users could be handed to authorities, developer says

Terrarium TV had recently announced that it would be shutting down its service at the end of September. Terrarium TV, a popular app for Android-powered devices, allowed users’ access to pirated copies of TV shows and movies pulled from file-hosting sites for free.

Also Read- Terrarium TV Down- Best Alternatives To Watch Free Movies In 2018

According to NitroXenon aka Peter Chan, the app’s developer who announced the shut down on September 10 in a notification to app users said, “It has always been a great pleasure to work on this project. However, it is time to say goodbye. I am going to shut down Terrarium TV, forever. I know this day will come eventually. I know it would be hard to let go. But it is really time for me to move on to other projects.”

The message continued: “Please note that you will not be able to open the Terrarium TV app after the end of September as the app will close itself automatically.”

While this news came as a huge blow for its users, the developer starting sending another notification to its users to immediately uninstall their app. Apparently, those users who did not uninstall the Terrarium TV app immediately after receiving the notification message of shut down are now receiving warning notification on their devices. It is asking the user to immediately uninstall the app or their data including IP addresses may be handed over to the authorities.

“Uninstall immediately!” one notification reads. “Your IP address and location are being tracked!”

“We can’t guarantee that details won’t be shared upon request,” advises another.

When TorrentFreak contacted NitroXenon and asked for an explanation for the warning notifications, he replied, “I’m just telling the truth. Almost every app tracks user’s IP [addresses]. And if I must [hand] the info to authorities then I’ll do it.”

While it isn’t clear why NitroXenon decided to shut down Terrarium TV, many are speculating that the developer may be under legal pressure to shut down due to the growing number of lawsuits targeting piracy apps.

Not only Terrarium TV, but pirate services like Morpheus TV and even paid services like Set TV have also shut down recently due to piracy lawsuit.

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iOS web attack crashes, causes iPhones or iPads to restart

iOS web attack crashes, causes iPhones or iPads to restart

This new CSS-based web attack can crash and restart iPhones or iPads and can cause a Mac computer to freeze

A security researcher has discovered a new iOS web attack that can cause an iPhone or iPad to restart and a Mac to freeze, if the device visits a webpage with specific CSS & HTML. However, this bug doesn’t affect users using Windows and Linux.

Sabri Haddouche, a security researcher at encrypted instant messaging app Wire, on Saturday tweeted the URL featuring the proof-of-concept (PoC) webpage that crashes iOS devices. The source code of the webpage containing the exploit that uses just 15 lines of specially crafted CSS & HTML code was posted by Haddouche on GitHub as well. This 15-line Web code snippet when visited on any iPhone or iPad, can cause the device to restart.

According to Haddouche’s PoC, the attack exploits the weakness in Apple’s web rendering engine WebKit. Further, the code, based on HTML and CSS, contains numerous <div> tags.

For those unaware, WebKit is the web browser engine used by Safari, Mail, App Store, and many other apps on macOS, iOS, and Linux.

“The attack uses a weakness in the -webkit-backdrop-filter CSS property. By using nested divs with that property, we can quickly consume all graphic resources and crash or freeze the OS. The attack does not require Javascript to be enabled therefore it also works in Mail. On macOS, the UI freeze. On iOS, the device restart”, Haddouche told Bleeping Computer.

Since Apple’s App Store rules doesn’t allow developers to bring their own rendering engine, all apps and browsers are required to use its WebKit. As a result, the code works on almost all the Apple devices making all iOS browsers susceptible to the attack.

On the other hand, the CSS/HTML attack in macOS only slows down the browser but adding JavaScript into the equation can brick the macOS.

“With the current attack (CSS/HTML only), it will just freeze Safari for a minute then slow it down,” Haddouche revealed.

“You will be able to close the tab afterward. To make it work on macOS, it requires a modified version containing JavaScript. The reason why I did not publish it is that it seems that Safari persists after a forced reboot and the browser is launched again, therefore bricking the user’s session as the malicious page is executed once again”, he added.

However, Haddouche notes the bug cannot be used to run any malicious software or to perform attacks that could steal a user’s data. But, if someone shares a link to a particular webpage disguised as some other URL and you click it, your iPhone will restart. This can be annoying for sure but with no major consequences.

The researcher claims he advised Apple about the issue before publishing the code on social media. Apple has confirmed it is aware of the glitch and they are investigating it.

Check out the video demonstration published by the researcher that shows the iPhone crash attack in action.

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Android Q will warn users for running apps made for older Android versions

Android Q will warn users for running apps made for older Android versions

Android Q will soon warn apps running on Android Lollipop or earlier

It’s only been a month since Google has released the latest version of Android 9.0 Pie, but it looks like the search giant has already started gearing up for Android Q. However, this time with Android Q, it plans to aggressively push developers to update their apps.

Last year, Google had released a new policy that imposed restrictions on the apps uploaded and updated on the Play Store. According to the policy, the new apps are required to target API (Application Programme Interface) level 26 (Android 8.0 Oreo) as of last month or later version and the same API level for updates to existing apps from November 2018 onwards.

Besides this, a new commit (spotted by XDA-Developers) on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) shows Android Q will warn users attempting to install apps on the new platform that target Android Lollipop or lower.

An image quoted by XDA-Developers reads a warning message that says, “This app was built for an older version of Android and may not work properly. Try checking for updates, or contact the developer.”

Google will be setting the minimum allowed target version from API level 17 (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean) to level 23 (Android 6.0 Marshmallow), which means the warning will pop up each time users run an app that’s targeting Android 5.0 Lollipop or older. Although users will not be prevented from using the app, the pop-up will appear each time the app is opened until it is either deleted or updated.

By doing this, Google would apparently be shaming those developers who prefer not to update their API level in accordance with the new Android version so as to avoid implementing their runtime permissions.

Also, by targeting apps running Lollipop and older, Google wants to convey that these apps are not using the security and privacy features that were introduced in Marshmallow. Additionally, this will also help Google to find out whether an app is updated or not.

On the other hand, if the developers upgrade to the latest version API, it will, in turn, bring a host of new features for the app. For instance, the new Android 9.0 Pie brings features like the Adaptive battery, App slices, App actions, UI changes, and much more.

If you are an Android app developer, we recommend you to start updating the apps or make a new one that may run properly on Android 8.0 Oreo and above.

ALSO READ: Android 9.0 Pie is here: How to get it and what’s new

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SonarSnoop attack can steal your smartphone’s unlock patterns

SonarSnoop attack can steal your smartphones' unlock patterns

Smartphone unlock patterns can be hacked using SonarSnoop attack

Researchers from Lancaster and Linkoping University have come up with a new attack technique that uses your smartphone’s speaker and microphone to steal unlock patterns from Android devices, reports ZDNet.

Dubbed as ‘SonarSnoop’, this method transforms a smartphone’s speaker and microphone into a sonar and uses sound waves to track a user’s finger position across the screen. In other words, the attack technique depends on the basic echo principle of sonar systems.

Also Read- Android smartphones can be hacked with AT commands attacks

For those unaware, Sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging) uses sound propagation normally in submarines for detecting objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels.

The study has been published in the research paper titled “SonarSnoop: Active Acoustic Side-Channel Attacks” that has detailed testing information of SonarSnoop on a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android 5.0.1.

How does the SonarSnoop attack work?

SonarSnoop uses FingerIO as the primary source of inspiration and is the malicious version of FingerIO. The attack uses a malicious app on the device that emits sound waves from the phone’s speakers generated at frequencies – 18 KHz to 20 KHz – that are inaudible to the human ear.

The malicious app uses the device’s microphone to pick up the sound waves and bounces it back to nearby objects, which in this case are the user’s fingerprints. Depending on the position of the speakers and microphones, a machine learning (ML) algorithm is employed in the malicious application to determine the possible unlock patterns.

“The received signals are represented by a so-called echo profile matrix which visualizes this shift and allows us to observe movement. Combining observed movement from multiple microphones allows us to estimate strokes and inflections,” the researchers explained.

Results of SonarSnoop attack

With the help of SonarSnoop, the researchers were able to reduce the number of possible unlock patterns by more than 70%. Thanks to the ML algorithms built into the attack. The research team used 12 unlock patterns with 15 unique strokes in their experiment.

SonarSnoop currently cannot unlock the devices with 100% accuracy, as the method is still in the experimental stage. However, the accuracy is expected to improve with the ML Algorithm becoming more efficient with time, thereby reducing false unlock patterns.

Researchers also point out that although their experiment focuses on smartphones, SonarSnoop is “is applicable to many other kinds of computing devices and physical environments where microphones and speakers are available.”

Also Read- Hackers can spy on your computer screens through the webcam microphone

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How Does a Spy Cell Phone Software Work? Protect Your Phone

The last years have demonstrated a powerful boost in modern inventions in the world of tracking and surveillance. Now with the use of mobile technologies, it became possible to keep an eye on someone`s device remotely.

The appearance of spyware is directly linked to the way modern technologies have changed our lives over the past few years. While before a smartphone was only a way to stay in touch with a family, now it is an integral part of our everyday life.

Many people live their lives on their devices, storing information and recording everything they do. For this reason, cell phones became the main target for spying apps.

Spyware for cell phones helps to make this task easier and available to everyone. Actually, even if you don`t have access to the target device, you still can check what the owner is up to, getting useful insights about the information stored on the phone.

What is Cell Phone Spyware?

Spyware is malicious software (or malware) that secretly intercepts and shares sensitive information without a user`s consent. It can be installed as a hidden component of the software or through fraudulent ads, websites, instant messengers, links, file-sharing connections, etc.

In most cases, malware is difficult to detect as it runs quietly on the background, capturing the user information and device activities.

This includes browsing history, keystrokes, authentication credentials, keystrokes, screenshots, emails, credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal information.

How to Get a Spyware for Cell Phone

Spyware can infect your device in the same ways any other type of malware does. For instance, by means of a Trojan, exploit worm-like viruses, etc. Here is the list of the most common techniques to infect your computer or cell phone:

  • Security vulnerabilities: You may infect your computer by following suspicious links or opening attachments know as they may contain viruses and spyware. More than this, it is also possible to infect your device with spyware just visiting a malicious website or clicking a fraudulent pop-up.
  • Deceptive marketing: Quite often, spyware authors introduce their malicious programs as a must-have tool, which may improve the device performance and provide a range of benefits.
  • Software bundles: All people like cost-free applications. But very often they are only a host program that hides malicious add-ons, plugins or extensions. The worst thing is that even if you uninstall the host app, the spyware will still be on your device.
  • Misc: In addition to the primary malicious intent, Trojans, worms and other viruses also distribute spyware.

What Harm Can Spyware Do?

Spyware tracks all your activities, including Web browsing and movements having a direct effect on your information.

A thing to worry about is spyware for cell-phones. These programs are aimed at gathering device information for nefarious purposes. For instance, identity theft, corporate espionage, spying on camera or recording someone`s surroundings.

The spyware for cell phones is a kind of malware, which is about to become more prevalent in the future as mobile devices get more like computers.

What Can Spyware for Cell Phones Do?

Whatever app you choose, all major spyware manufacturers offer a similar number of features:

  • Text messages: all text messages, both sent and received are available for tracking. Some companies even allow the deleted messages monitoring.
  • Web history: Internet browsing history, bookmarks, and cookies are also visible for checking.
  • GPS: current GPS location, as well as the recent movements, are available for tracking.
  • Downloads: photos, videos, calendar entries, contacts, and other data are also available for monitoring.
  • Email: sent and received emails can be viewed, including the other information like sender, recipient, date and time.

All these features are considered as basic ones provided by all spyware manufacturers. But some of them offer advanced features for the extra cost. The advanced features include:

  • Call recording: all target phone incoming or outgoing voice calls can be recorded, download and played back later on.
  • Instant messengers:  WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Snapchat and other platforms can be monitored.
  • Phone surroundings: target device surroundings can be recorded with the activated microphone.
  • Remote controls: this feature allows getting full control over the target device, blocking and unlocking it. If needed it is possible even to wipe all the data from the target device.
  • Installed apps: all the installed apps can be tracked, helping to restrict the unwanted ones.
  • Alerts: using this feature it is possible to set up a list of trigger words and be informed when they appear on the target device. The same can be done with phone numbers.

Facts About Spyware for Cell Phones-

  • The spyware for cell phones can be installed from suspicious websites, Bluetooth, MMS or PC connection. Its way directly depends on the target device compatibility.
  • Spyware for cell phones which is claimed to be installed remotely via Bluetooth connection, need to be paired with a target device first.
  • Spyware for cell phones remote installation is possible, but it is needed to trick a person into downloading and installing it on their device.
  • The easiest way to trick a target into the installation of spyware for a cell phone is to send bogus MMS with a hazardous link. Sending messages with fake links can easily trick the owner into the spyware download.
  • Spyware for phones can spy the following activities: calls, texts, installed apps, browsing history, GPS location, multimedia, and any other information.
  • Some individuals claim that it is possible to extract voice from target phone without installation and spy the phone only having a phone number. But it is absolutely impossible.
  • Spyware for cell phone can be used as a bug to record the target device surroundings and play it back later.

There is a great number of spyware for cell phones available on the market these days. We do hope that in this article, we’ve shed some light on the spyware functionality and possibilities.

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