If USA Network's show Mr. Robot made you nervous about smartphone security you're going to really feel uneasy after the recent report by "60 Minutes." Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi traveled to Berlin to interview a group of hackers and discover just how vulnerable we are to getting hacked. What she discovered was shocking.
"60 Minutes" purchased an off-the-shelf iPhone 6 which they sent to Representative Ted Lieu of California. The only information provided to the hackers was the phone number. With that phone number they were able to access a flaw in a vital global network that connects phone carriers and were able to access and track everything on the phone. When Alfonsi called Representive Lieu the hackers were able to hear everything, even chiming on the conversation.
Then the hackers stepped it up and played the lawmaker a recording of another recent conversation he had. He was appalled by this. "First, it's really creepy. And second, it makes me angry," he said.
Representative Lieu went on to recall an important conversation he had with the President of the United States last year. "We discussed some issues," he said, "So if the hackers were listening in, they would know that phone conversation. That's immensely troubling.
Alfonsi asked John Hering, professional hacker and cofounder of the mobile security company Lookout, if some phones are easier to hack into others. The answer is no. Every computer and mobile device are equal in the eyes of hackers. How reassuring.