This 60 Minutes report should scare all smartphone users

This 60 Minutes report should scare all smartphone users
To show how easy it is to hack a phone, CBS News turned to its trusty weekly news magazine 60 Minutes. Last night's broadcast included a segment that surely raised a few eyebrows. CBS gave a brand new Apple iPhone to Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), and at the same time it challenged the researchers at Security Research Labs to hack into the device.

The company breaks into devices to look for flaws before the 'bad guys' find them. This company has never met a phone it couldn't crack, and when asked if an iPhone is safer than an Android handset, one of the team members says that "all phones are the same." He also says that with the information that they can get from a hacked handset, the company can find out the whereabouts of the phone's owner, know where they go to work, spy on their phone calls, and read their texts.

CBS decided to see if Security Research Lab could actually hack into a handset and pull out all of this information. The network sent an off-the-shelf iPhone from CBS News in New York to Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and gave the guys at Security Research Labs the green light to do their thing. The only information that 60 Minutes gave the researchers was the phone number of the iPhone.

Almost immediately, Security Research Lab hackers were listening in on both sides of a phone call made by the reporter to the congressman. They also were able to track the congressman's movements and intercept and record his phone calls. This was accomplished by taking advantage of a flaw in Signaling System 7 (SS7), a protocol used to connect phone carriers around the world. And this is why the "which phone is safer" debate isn't always the right issue to be arguing about. The SS7 vulnerability affects all smartphone users.

Luckily, most hackers don't use SS7 to break into your phone. At least not yet. Lookout co-founder John Hering told 60 Minutes that every system can be broken into and that it is just a matter of knowing how to break into it. He says that there are only two types of companies in the world today. They are those who have been hacked, and those who have been hacked but don't know it.

Hering says that where most people go wrong when it comes to mobile security, is not thinking of their smartphone as a computer. To prove how vulnerable smartphone users are, Hering and a group of ace hackers got together in a hotel room in Las Vegas. Using a spoof of the hotel's Wi-Fi landing page, he cracked the reporter's handset, accessed her email, had her credit card numbers and more.

Hering points out that most smartphone users won't be subjected to the kind of attack that he put the reporter's phone through. But he says that if security issues aren't talked about now, the future will

Everyone who uses a smartphone needs to watch this segment. You can do so by clicking on the video below.

source: 60 Minutes via BGR



2. Phonewbie

Posts: 44; Member since: Feb 15, 2015

"All phones are the same." don't say that on phonearena. Fanboys Will disagree.

3. tyrionTheWise unregistered

But.....but the iPhone is safer. It has that Apple thingy, which makes it safe.

10. htcforlife

Posts: 73; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

Bwahahahahaha. U da man. All hail sarcasm

28. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Or facts. Depends on how you see it :-) Thumbs Up!

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

An Apple logo makes an product automatically the following: More popular More Safe More Waterproof More better More capable More Godly Most innovative Most inspiring More beneficial More Godly More useful More, more, more....


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

You forgot "more expensive"

27. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yeah I did. Thanks!

22. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes also: More of a follower More of a teenage girl

44. QuasarExod

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 29, 2016

That's what clueless isheep see.

18. E34V8

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

Haha. Nice one! :D

48. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Not anymore

4. mi7chy

Posts: 53; Member since: Apr 18, 2016

It's not the phone but the user. And, the ones that claim their phone is invincible are the first to fall.

14. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

unfortunately, when said average user buys a phone that is marketed as more secure, tougher whatnot Apple's current buzz word is, said user treats their own safety with even more lax standards believe they are 'safe' because they have a safer device. Same with how they treat them physically, products marketed as more durable, end up getting treated carelessly.

6. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

As i said before.. All smartphone have security hole no one is fully protected. Best protection is to always be open minded thats you might be hacked , download the wrong app ect. Some ppl live in a false sense of security as the OEM of the phone they use say they are protected well they should never listen to this OEM lies.

7. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Now all the Apple fans can STFU talking about what platform is more secure vs another. "THEY ARE ALL THE SAME" Considering iPhone's have been hacked in less than 5 minutes, while Android phones too more than 30, to me tells that all a hacker needs is time and your phone. Any computer can be hacked. After all jailbreaks are done with hacks. Windows has been hacked numerous times. No platform is safe from hackers. What does matter is if you are a person worth hacking. For the vast majority of us, the answer is, NO! Now let me sit back with my popcorn and watch all the "damage control" iPhone Terminators appear to make false claims...A good laugh is upon us!

9. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Also what matter is to always be careful and never think you are invicible like some OEM think they are..

17. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Add on top of that the Android devices that actually have the vulnerabilities are in poverty stricken countries owned by people with no power or money. I'm not being derogatory about that, just a fact. Makes things seem overblown.

13. gendo

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

And the FBI needed Apple to do what.....?

16. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Considering majority of the global population use smartphones now, literally nobody is safe.. *sigh*

21. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

At the end of the day it's still called SOFTware.

24. Hashed unregistered

so they can spy on my phone calls -Ah yeah, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions,, okay sweetie -Yup, I have sent you the updated report today, confirm it's fine. -hello, we'll meet at the coffee shop, see ya. I can see how worried should I be.

29. Landon

Posts: 1248; Member since: May 07, 2015

Live aware but don't live in fear. That's my motto anyway. Also, I highly suggest watching Citizenfour. It's just as crazy, if not crazier than this report.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well actually that is not entire true. As Snowden has made us aware, phone that use GSM not only can be hacked to where the NSA can listen to phone calls, they can also hijack SMS and activate your camera remotely and make it takes pictures. Also I know Samsung has a tool where they can also remotely access your phone, but you do have to install and app first. I had a Samsung technician, have me download an app, which works very similar to LogMeIn. They can see your screen and access everything once your phone is unlocked by you. Imagine what would happen if the feds also had such a tool Apple was right in not making a permanent backdoor that would give the Feds unlimited access to everyone's iPhone. As far as if they should have unlocked the terrorist phone? I could go either way. But, as I satted; theer was no guarantee the gov't had any reason to actually believe the phoen would contain the info they claimed it did. They took and uneducated guess and turns out it had nothing. Do you really think a terrorist organization would have their people leave data on a phone? Also, once the Feds announced they were payinglosing $15,000 to a company to hack it; how do we know that same company wasn't contacted by the terrorists sayign we will give you twice as much not to give them anything. Also, we dont really know if anythign was found because our on Gov't lies too. after all, we will never know what hot the Pentagon, because the one video they did release, doesn't show any plane int he explosion and we will never know what crashed in PA because, if it was a plane; its the only one that has ever crashed that had no people, no seats, no wheels, no wings, no tail, no engine, no luggage and no debris whatsoever that could be identified as to belonging to an aircraft of any kind. The Feds are a bunch of liars and is why terrorists come here an attack innocent people.

33. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Stupid fools..........anything that travels over the air can be intercepted, period.

34. Eraman

Posts: 164; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

So... BlackBerry will return to the top of the world's smartphones business with it's Strongest encryption??

36. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

"Hering says that where most people go wrong when it comes to mobile security, is not thinking of their smartphone as a computer." Exactly! SmartPhones are literally just another form-factor of a PC (Personal Computer), they're in no way secure from hacking. Only brainwashed iDiots would think otherwise 'cause their divine company said so...

37. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

That's true, every phone pretty much use the same protocol for wireless communication. I don't expect android or iOS to magically use a specially band or etc wifi / phone signal to make the connections more secure. When there is a will, there is a way, guess this also applies to the wrong and good side : )

38. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

* both wrong and good side *

39. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

"This 60 Minutes report should scare all smartphone users" so in other words, a media outlet is doing it's job?

45. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

9 times out of 10 you aren't getting hacked and I could care less if someone hacked my phone just to spy on me, sure its an invasion of privacy but its not like I have anything incriminating on my phone. I've been aware of how easy it is to hack stuff for a while now.

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