How safe is your smartphone? New ways hackers can gain access - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

How safe is your smartphone? New ways hackers can gain access

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Cell phones are capable of doing some amazing things. They can hold some of the most vital information in our lives, but how much safe is that information?

Smart phones are a part of so many people's lives, which makes the hacking of them such a concern.

Trey Keifer is the CEO of Wire Harbor Security. His job is to inform his clients of the many ways people can compromise your electronic devices.

One of the ways is through cell phone apps.

"It's actually, surprisingly easy to hack into a lot of cell phones," Keifer explains. "Apple's app store has had issues with malicious viruses actually being included in the software there. And Google's play store has also had issues with people packaging viruses as actual applications."

Once a hacker invades your phone through an app, they have free reign.

"They can monitor your movement through the GPS chips that are in them," says Keifer. "They can turn on your microphone and listen to any conversations that are occurring in the room. They can also take pretty much all of the data that's on that phone and filter it out to servers they control on the internet."

Another revelation security consultants have found is how a cell phone can be compromised through a femtocell or wireless network extender. These are used to give cell phones a stronger signal.

"When you've got one of these devices that's sitting in your living room than you can, there are ways of opening them up," he continues.

Hackers can then gain access to your phone calls, pictures and even text messages.

Verizon Wireless released this statement about the compromise of their wireless extenders: "The recent news stories discuss an issue that was fixed in March of this year on all network extender devices. The fix prevents the network extender from being compromised in the same manner."

Security experts say there aren't many ways to prevent your phone from being hacked, but try not to post or save anything you wouldn't want to go public.

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