Call interception and espionage
Many times we have heard accounts or seen in news reports of cases of phone tapping. The most common cases of wiretapping are police operations in which suspects are monitored following prosecutorial intervention for lifting of privacy declassification. But there are also those cases where the interception is not within the legal framework and is aimed at malicious surveillance and unfair competition.
Interception methods can be distinguished at the telephony provider level and at the device level. The response to the phenomenon differs for each method as the information is not collected in the same way.
This method of interception is used by the police and the armed forces using special equipment. However, this equipment can be found on the black market but at a high cost. Often, companies who want to conduct industrial espionage against the competition buy these machines and hire professionals to do the dirty work. The machines used in these cases mimic the antennas of mobile phone providers. In this way they collect the IMEI code of the devices connected to the machine and then using this code they can intercept the calls of these devices. It should be noted here that because this monitoring is done at the provider level, even if a format is done on the device the problem is not solved.
Device-level call monitoring is a method that has a lower cost. In this case it is not necessary to use expensive equipment. All that is needed is the installation of malware on the phone. Some sms message or some mail containing the software encoded is enough to infect the device and record the calls. This method is more popular with people who want to spy on someone close to them because of the low cost. The information collected by the software is then sent over the internet to the computer of the person being monitored. While this all seems easier and quicker, the likelihood of the victim finding out that they are being stalked is very high.
Call tracking is a very serious matter as it involves the interception of personal data. To realize that one is being monitored is not easy especially if one is not knowledgeable about such technologies.
In case the calls are intercepted we can tell in several ways. If the interception is done at the provider level, it is very likely that noise is heard during the call. The noises can be static or even an echo of our voice. At the device level, eavesdropping is easier to detect. Due to the sending of information over the internet there is an increase in network usage and the phone heats up to abnormal levels. In addition, the phone’s battery is depleted at a faster rate.
If there are suspicions of phone call interception the first thing to do is to scan the phone for untrusted applications. The applications installed by the manufacturer are very specific and can be found on the internet. Apart from that, we ourselves know which applications we have installed. Any application that looks suspicious to us should be uninstalled. The most effective solution is to format the device to return the phone to factory settings. This option unfortunately does not exist when it comes to monitoring at the provider level. The only thing that can be done apart from alerting the authorities is to get a new device because the IMEI code is unique and cannot be changed.
Call interception and espionage – Private investigator Pelekasis Nikos
“The above text may be indicative of practices and methods used in the past. Some tactics and methods may now be applicable under the new law 5005/22 concerning the procedure for the removal of privacy of communications, cybersecurity and protection of personal data of citizens.”