Angus King, a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee and an independent senator from Maine, recommends regularly restarting their cell phones. Writes Free Europe.
The politician, speaking to the Associated Press, said that since becoming a member of the Congressional Intelligence Committee, he has routinely turned off his phone from time to time. As mentioned before:
I reboot my phone once a week when I can remember.
Angus King did not invent this method himself, according to guidelines from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which last year published a handbook for those who fear they might be targeted for surveillance for some reason. One of these basic tips is to turn your cell phone on and off from time to time.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has recorded that while this method does not guarantee complete security, it can make things more difficult for hackers. This is because when you restart your phone, the so-called no-click spyware (the invisible software that monitors your device) is also deleted from the memory, so the hacker has to send it back to your device. NSA cybersecurity specialist Neil Ziering said:
The goal of this method is to make things more difficult for malicious actors.
He added that the previous spyware was written in such a way that it copies itself into the affected file system and restarts when the device is turned on and off. However, the latest mobile operating systems are already capable of blocking these types of software. Security expert Patrick Wardle, a former researcher at the National Security Agency, said:
“Hackers have realized that viruses no longer have to copy themselves on the device. Once you can get in and get all the text messages, all the contact names and all the passwords, the game is over.”
Unfortunately, these days the task of hackers is also made easier by the fact that the average user never turns off their phones, even though we store a lot of sensitive data on it. In addition, the phone can actually become faulty by allowing hackers to turn on the microphone of the attacking phone.
Previously, in many articles the Index also addressed possible ways to avoid eavesdropping. It can help replace our smartphone with a “silly phone”: if we have very sensitive conversations, we can receive our calls and SMS on this device more securely than on a smartphone. However, based on cell information, these devices can also be tracked without proper protection technology, so this doesn’t provide complete protection either.
It’s also a good idea to keep your smartphone software and operating system up to date, as developers try to fix bugs, among other things, through which malware can get into your system.
Unfortunately, if a hacker is really persistent, they can resend the spyware immediately after a phone restart, so a regular restart isn’t a completely reassuring option either, said Bill Marczak, a researcher at Citizen Lab. Therefore, the NSA suggests that it is safer to never take your phone with you for private conversations.
As a result of international cooperation, it turned out that the governments of ten countries, including Hungary, had purchased a spyware called Pegasus from an Israeli company called NSO. He’s among the ones who’ve been spotted
- Mayor of Galleries, Giorgi Gimizzi, Mayor of Gudolo,
- Attila Aszodi, Former Minister of State for Pax Expansion,
- Four journalists, including two Direkt36 employees,
- Janos Banti, President of the Bar Association and nine other Hungarian lawyers,
- A photographer who worked with an American journalist on an article about the headquarters of the International Investment Bank, a Russian financial institution near the Kremlin, in Budapest,
- Billionaire businessman, Zoltán Varga, owner of Central Media Group, which also publishes 24.hu,
- Attila Cekan, Professor of Economics, Senior Economy Minister in the Orban government, who was a guest of Zoltan Varga at a dinner in 2018,
- The son of the former Fides Treasurer, Lajos Simekska, who is the main ally of Viktor Urban until J.D.,
- and former CEU student Adrian Beaudoin, who was arrested at an anti-government demonstration in 2018.
The Guardian had previously written that an agreement on the use of Pegasus in Hungary could be reached at a 2017 meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although a former NSO employee has confirmed Hungary is a customer, the company itself also denies accepting instructions from the Israeli government. Orbán’s government vehemently denies that illegal data collection has taken place in Hungary, and Prime Minister Gergeli Golias has described the Pegasus scandal as political hysteria. To date, however, it has not been denied that the government has purchased Israeli spyware, nor that the software has been used to monitor Hungarian citizens.
In the morning, we reported that several NSO clients had blocked the use of the Pegasus spyware until the abuse investigation was completed. The Israeli company’s spyware was sold to governments and government organizations, so the arrested “agents” also meant this department.
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