During a recent speech to delivered at the City University in London, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that most smartphones can be hacked remotely with ease. “Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you’re all screwed,” Assange said during his talk, which followed the release of 287 documents related to mass surveillance. Assange explained to the crowd that more than 150 private organizations in 25 countries can easily track phones and intercept messages, browsing history, email accounts, phone calls and more remotely, ZDNET said. Several organizations are even capable of sending fake text messages from a user’s phone, Assange said. Read on for more.
The documents addressed “the reality of the international surveillance industry” and explained the tech used to spy on mobile users was developed in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. ZDNET explained that the technology may have been sold to several of the regimes in North Africa and the Middle East, and Wikileaks said the technology has been used in Bahrain to track human rights activists.
SS8, a U.S. firm, Hacking Team and Vupen were all named as companies who have created the malware that’s capable of hijacking smartphones. The software can “record every use, movement and even sights and sounds of the room [a phone] is in,” Wikileaks said.
The Wikileaks documents are particularly compelling given the recent revelation that millions of smartphones have spyware called Carrier IQ installed, an application that is capable of allowing wireless carriers to spy on their customers.