Smartphones Are Vulnerable To Government Hacking, Says Edward Snowden

By : Kieron Curtis |


UNILAD Screen Shot 2015 10 06 at 01.22.418GCHQ
Edward Snowden has popped up again, with yet more terrifying news about the government’s ability to spy on us all without our knowing.

In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama, the whistleblower reveals the sneaky tricks at the disposal of security agencies to hack into your mobile.

Rather bizarrely these little nasties have been named after the children’s cartoon The Smurfs. Cute names must make operatives feel better about the gross invasion of privacy.

According to Mr. Snowden the ‘Smurf Suite’ gives UK intelligence agency GCHQ the ability to access your phone’s microphone to listen in, to accurately triangulate your position at any time, see all your texts, find all your internet connections, and take photos of you.

All of this is allegedly achieved through an encrypted message you don’t even know has hit your phone. And once in, the spyware is not easily removed as it is purpose designed to escape the notice of even trained phone technicians.

Snowden said:

That’s a specially crafted message that’s texted to your number like any other text message but when it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for it [the phone] but whoever controls the software owns the phone.”

Now it is conceded by the Snowden that the government has a tight legal framework to which they must adhere, ensuring only ‘necessary and proportionate’ monitoring takes place.

But given you are almost never going to know it is occurring, the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ rhetoric is irrelevant. They have the capability and what is to prevent its abuse?

Unsurprisingly the UK government has declined to comment on the allegations.

Could this be the start of a glorious comeback for the Nokia 3330?