Smartphones: close friend or closer enemy? - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Smartphones: close friend or closer enemy?

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We treat our smart phones like our best friends, telling them all our secrets.

But as the capability of our phones increases, so does the potential damage if a phone "goes rogue."

The latest malware, PlaceRaider, was created in a computer lab by researchers. But what it can do is truly alarming. Talk about a criminal's paradise!

When installed on an Android phone, the bug secretly takes photos every few seconds. The photos are sent off wirelessly.

Then, using data from the smart phone's location and position sensors, those pictures can be assembled into a three-dimensional map of the phone's surroundings.

"Almost like a 3D model," explained Gary Huestis, "to see where things were, or how things were laid out. To see pictures on the wall or documents on the screen. Bills with credit card numbers, things like that."

Huestis is a digital forensic investigator with E-Investigations in Tomball.

He says your best defense is to keep an eye on your privacy setting and pay attention when an app asks permission to access other data on your smart phone.

And above all, always maintain physical possession of your phone and lock it with a password.

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