Forget, voice-mail hacking; over the last couple of years, it is the bugging of mobile phones that has become a major headache for security managers.

According to a new report from Lookout Mobile Security, 54% of all smartphone users fail to password-protect  their handsets. As a result, if a spy can get some software downloaded onto your phone, they can do the following with ease:

Call Interception – Listening to your live calls. They can even get your phone to covertly send them a text message every time you start a call so they know when to listen in.
Remote Bugging – Even when you are not actually on the phone, they can dial in, silently turn on your speaker and listen to conversations going on close to the phone.
Read you SMS messages and Emails.
Know your GPS Location, updated in real time Call record extraction – linked to address book, they can get a record of every call made and received and who the other party was.
SIM change notification – reveals you new number if you change the SIM card.

To get hold of this sort of technology doesn’t require dodgy deals in back alleys or clandestine car park meetings. This software is available online for around £200 from a wide range of websites. The manufacturers even offer money back guarantees! These cheap software tools make even the latest, most high-tech phones vulnerable to attack. The most popular software currently has versions  available for iPhones, Nokia, Blackberry, and Android based handsets.

However, spies do need physical access to the phone to install the software.
They do this by opening up a web page on the target mobile and entering a code to download and set up the software. This can take a matter of moments, so the best first line of defence is to turn on the password protection on your phone.  However, as noted earlier, more than half of us fail to do this. Also, it must be noted, that most phones have fairly rudimentary security and getting past the password screen is a trick most spies are familiar with.

The second line of defence is a proper GSM telephone evaluation.
Professional security companies such as QCC offer a telephone forensics service to clients who are worried that their personal mobile telephones are being secretly monitored. These evaluations are quick and effective and are definitely the best way for Managing Directors, corporate executives, celebrities and government officials to ensure their private conversations remain strictly private.