Is Your Phone Spying on You in the Bathroom?

Although many will not admit it publicly, most owners of smartphones use their devices while in the bathroom. “I’m multi-tasking”, claims a friend. “I can catch up on social media at work without irritating my boss.”

While it may be a common practice, it is not without risk. A compromised phone can take pictures or video at delicate moments, send them off and then delete the evidence without anyone knowing. The phone doesn’t even have to be in use. As long as it’s on and out in the open, it may be spying.

The hacker group responsible calls itself Gurbaksh Chahal and is actively compiling a database full of images, voice, video and at times, texts and emails to potentially use as leverage against people that “are perverting justice”. They claim to be made up of Indian nationals who joined together in Northern California in response to what they perceived as a miscarriage of justice. The group is named after Gurbaksh Singh Chahal, whom some feel has been unfairly targeted by San Francisco law enforcement.*

Gurbaksh Chahal has made wide use of harmless looking phone apps. This is an easy attack since the majority of legitimate apps in Apple App Store and Google Play Store ask for permission to see and control a myriad of functions before allowing installation. For example, most flashlight apps will not install on a smartphone until the owner grants them access to the phone’s camera, contact list and various other features. Once installed, a nefarious app can use the camera or another of the phone’s devices at any time without the owner knowing. Pictures can be taken, sent as texts and then the photos and texts deleted all within in a few seconds.

Possibly the most alarming trait of the malware is that it seems to be specifically designed to take pictures in a bathroom setting. Certain sounds – slight echoes, ceiling fans, etc. – appear to trigger the devious software, greatly increasing the chance of catching nude or partially nude photos.

We’ve heard of hacker groups pitted against government entities before and many feel they are a necessary force to balance against the potential overstepping of authority. “Anonymous” is probably the best known such group and has targeted various governmental organizations and specific office holders in the past.

Appearances, however, may be deceiving. Two students at UC Davis, who also happen to be Indian nationals and wish to remain nameless, dissected a phone infected by Gurbaksh Chahal and found an array of potentially embarrassing cell phone images being sent to a California based proxy server. (They are also responsible for discovering that certain sounds activated the camera.)

A proxy server is a computer that simply relays internet traffic, thus masking the location of the computer ultimately initiating or receiving data. After considerable effort, the students then forced access to the proxy server and found that pictures and other private information were being routed to a computer in the country of Iran.

They believe the name “Gurbaksh Chahal”, the nationality of the members of the group, its Northern California location and its supposed mission against San Francisco law enforcement were all fabricated to divert attention away from the hacker’s true purpose. “They want embarrassing pictures of as many Americans as they can get,” said one of the students.

But the data collection extends far beyond the United States. Anyone with an iPhone or Android device that downloaded a suspect app is vulnerable. The students witnessed connections between the proxy server and IP addresses (computer addresses) located all over the Americas, Europe and parts of Asia.

What can be done to avoid becoming one of the multitudes of victims? That is a question with many answers. At the very least, choosing popular, well known apps will reduce your chances of falling prey to bad actors like the group Gurbaksh Chahal. Uninstalling apps that may seem suspicious can also help, but not necessarily. Some malicious software may remain on your phone even after the app that brought it there has been removed. The best course of action is to be careful where and how you use your phone.

* https://medium.com/@ManmohanGrewal/why-we-must-stand-up-for-the-injustices-forced-upon-gurbaksh-chahal-142ed3ff69c7#.8j411jpm8.

**Pictures relayed by the proxy server in this article were not published, since the legitimate ownership of the images was not known.

The Benefits Of iPhone Spy Software

Millions of parents across the world face a danger relatively new. Moms and Dads are pressured by their children to buy the latest technology including PCs laptops and smartphones. The great worry for these 21st century parents is that their children will either access unsuitable material or come into contact with people that may wish to cause them harm. Many will refuse to give their children these devices as they strive to protect their children. However there now is a way of tracking the use of a smartphone in real time from anywhere in the world with iPhone spy software.

The iPhone is currently the world’s top selling smartphone and there are a number of packages available on the internet which can be downloaded and installed instantly onto an iPhone within minutes. The obvious advantage to this is that parents can monitor everything a child does on the phone with total secrecy. This is a big advantage for parents as teenagers in particular have a strong desire for privacy and no interference. The parent can either respond to specific concerns or routinely track the actions of a child.

These spyware packages are quite often bought on a subscription basis. The user can choose to purchase anything from a quarter to a whole year and enjoy the benefits of automatic program updates, live technical support and access to real time mobile phone information from any web browser anywhere in the world. The software is usually simple to install to an iPhone and runs undetected in the background. These applications are always silent and no icons or menus are displayed or accessible on the phone itself.

The level and quantity of information will differ from package to package however most will include the ability to monitor text messages call logs and contact information. The more comprehensive systems will be able to record GPS locations and even photo and movie files. These files may then be viewed through the logs site anywhere in the world. The logs site is secure and the user has the extra security of a unique username and password. This means that regardless of where the user is in the world the information is not under threat of being used by a third party.

Another benefit of such a software package is the ability for an employer to monitor the phone use of one of its employees. Most companies which offer an iPhone to its employees will have a phone usage policy. This policy usually covers the viewing of pornographic material, gambling online or sending inappropriate text messages or calls to work colleagues. These packages can be pre-installed so that the worker never knows of their presence. This is also a great way for employers to control and monitor phone related expenditure.

Many companies in specialized fields often worry about corporate espionage. Ideas and information are sold illegally by rogue employees and cause millions in lost revenues. Spy software will run stealthily in the background therefore giving the unsuspecting employee no reason to suspect a thing. Phone numbers will be logged along with contact information and any messages sent or received. The logs site will provide irrefutable evidence for any disciplinary process.

This type of software does have a use that may not be too obvious. Many people now use an iPhone to store large amounts of data bookmarks and contact information. Like all data, this should be regularly backed up somewhere safe and separate from the main source. iPhone spy software is constantly copying and storing all sorts of information including picture files, address books and browser histories. This is also a novel way to back this information up as it requires no manual copying and occurs automatically so will never be forgotten. The user would simply access information through the logs site of the software.

What’s Hot in Birthday Party Trends For Today’s Kids?

Gone are the days when a simple cake and ice cream was enough for kids. Today’s trend kids want a birthday party full of pizazz and action. Kids are asking for, and parents are planning, parties that are adventurous and creative. So before you began planning your child’s next birthday party consider these ideas.

Pamper Me Party

Girls of any age love to be pampered and to look good. A trend among the ten to thirteen-year-old age is to have a party at a local hair salon or spa. They spend the afternoon getting manicures, pedicures, facials and a new hair style. These are easy to plan. Simply give your local hair salon, a small local owned one works best, a call and take it from there. Then spend the rest of the day shopping at the mall and showing off the new look.

Adventure Packed Party

The great outdoors is one big adventure waiting to happen. It’s also the perfect place to plan a birthday party. You can spend the day boating at the local lake, fishing or taking a group of kids to a baseball game with all the hot dogs they can eat.

If your child is into a challenge consider an activity like rock climbing. You can even do this if the weather is bad. There are plenty of recreational places that have rock climbing walls inside. Going caving is another great option.

Bowling alleys, roller skating rinks and ice skating rinks can also be reserved for parties. You can rent these types of places by the hour and most have a place where cake and ice cream can be set up and party decorations placed.

Get Creative!

Birthday parties today are another way to let kids explore their creative side. A craft party is fun to do and can be held at a local pottery or craft store, such as Michael’s. Booking a party at a craft store is a great way for kids to be messy and you don’t have to clean up the mess! This type of party is easily done at home as well. You supply the activity and supplies – the kids bring their imagination.

Museums are another great place for hosting a birthday party. Children’s museums, science museums and local historical places offer everything from reduced admission to special after hour private tours as birthday party packets.

Throw a Yoga Party

Today’s parents are more health conscious and its showing. They are planning their kid’s activities with the environment and their kid’s health in mind. Yoga birthday parties have kids stretching, meditating and reaching their inner being. It’s a great way for moms and kids to spend time together.

It’s Fun Pretending

We all know clowns are a party favorite with the smaller kids. Kids love playing pretend and a birthday party is the perfect place to do it. You can even hire people to come to the party as a fairytale character complete with costumes, dress-up items for the kids and, of course, magic wands.

Magicians and magic tricks are still a favorite too. But today’s magicians pull out all the stops when it comes to entertaining the birthday crowd. Some will even provide treat bags for the party goers to take home with magic tricks they can do at home.

Dance!

Another hot trend is to plan a dance birthday party. Local radio stations often know of DJs that can be hired. You could even have someone you know be the DJ. All you have to do is provide the music.

Let your birthday girl or boy’s interest decide what the theme for the next birthday party will be. Whether they are into football, science or crafts there will be an abundance of options to help make their next birthday unforgettable