Android phones are infamously hackable. But until now, the worst we had to worry about was a little lost or corrupted data and maybe some bank account shenanigans. But nothing that a reboot, backup and a little identity theft protection couldn’t fix. Until now. A new malware program dubbed Place Raider allows hackers unprecedented access to all of your IRL stuff.
The Set Up
Unlike other malware, Place Raider leaves your bank account and your data alone. Once it infiltrates your phone, it goes right for your camera. First it silences your shutter. And then it programs it to snap pictures at pre-programmed intervals.
Why would it do that? To take pictures of all your stuff, apparently. While you’re at home rifling through your priceless comic book collection or walking by the Monet, Place Raider is snapping pictures. Once it’s done, it filters out the blurry and unusable pictures and loads the usable stuff up to an offsite server bypassing your phone’s album.
There, would-be thieves create a 3D picture of your place and all of your stuff. Then they assess whether or not your house is worth the gas it takes to drive over there and rob it. If you’ve got anything worth stealing, they’ll take a few pictures to make sure you’re not in the house, waltz in, make a sting operation and you come home to an empty house wondering just what the heck happened.
Don’t Panic Just Yet
As it turns out, the malicious Place Raider malware was conceived of and launched by The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana. They infected 20 unsuspecting citizens with the malware, sat back and waited and then analyzed the data with the help of their scientists to discover just how hard our technologically advanced smart phones can burn us.
And as you can see, we can all get burned pretty badly. The Navy’s unmanned drone not only received 3D pictures of homes, but important banking information from photos of personal checks and other documents.
As of now, the technology is just in the capable hands of the Navy. But the technology is out there. And right now I can just imagine the cast of the Italian Job putting their best men on the job. Or the Navy is planning on spying on us to see if we’re…naval security risks…or something. I’ve never been good at conspiracy theories.
Androids are great phones, but they definitely lead the pack in hack-ability. Sure this particular threat isn’t here quite yet, but it’s only a matter of time before the blogosphere lights up with news of yet another malicious attack.
So why not head over to GSMNation.com and check out some of our unlocked iPhones and Windows Phones? We’ve got them cheap with specs as good as android’s and you’ll be able to sleep peacefully knowing that no one’s secretly taking pictures of you while you do.