The latest wave of attacks on smartphones is raising concerns around the world. Affected users accuse the fact that the smartphone unlocks itself, one of the main symptoms that our smartphone may have been hacked.
Searching for the phrase “phone unlocks automatically” brings up more than 209 million results on Google and it’s not an error or bug. In fact, experts believe that this could be caused by an attack ghostly touch.
To hack screen or GhostTouch is the new wave of attacks
GhostTouch is the latest screen hacking attack that allows criminals to access mobile phones remotely. In simple terms, hackers use electromagnetic signals to simulate primary actions like taps and swipes on strategic areas of the touch screen.
Once again, the goal is to remotely access smartphones and manipulate them in potentially dangerous ways (access data or passwords, access insecure services, or install malware). The ultimate goal is always the easy profit.
This is how the attack works to hack of screens
According researchers from Zhejiang University (China) and Darmstadt Technical University (Germany), screen hacking attacks use “electromagnetic interference (EMI) to inject fake touch points into a screen tap. This without having to touch it.
These types of attacks work from a distance of 40 millimeters and take advantage of the sensitivity of touch screens to EMI. In fact, criminals can inject electromagnetic signals into the electrodes that are part of touch screens and register them as touch actions (short presses, exchanges, presses or long presses).
The attack has been shown to work on nine smartphone models, including the iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Redmi 8, and Nokia 7.2.
These are the signs of a “hacked” smartphone
If a user’s screen has been hacked, it will start working on its own. For example: unlock automatically or answer calls without the user ordering it.
Other signs of a hacked cell phone are when it starts opening random URL addresses. Or even login to user’s bank accounts, open files, play videos. Or even typing words in the search box without the user’s consent.
Criminals can also try to establish malicious connections to carry out attacks. man in the middle or manipulate the phone with a Bluetooth mouse.
So, if you notice unusual Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections, your phone has likely been hacked.
3 Ways to Protect Yourself From Screen Hacking Attacks
- Add an extra layer of security. In addition to strong passwords, enable advanced security measures like facial recognition, fingerprints, or PINs for high-risk actions (like money transfers). This will help to avoid financial loss even if you are the victim of a screen hacking attack.
- Keep your phone’s operating system up to date. Updates provide essential security features that can reduce the risk of an attack. These minimize vulnerabilities and may even contain additional features designed specifically to protect the mobile phone from these types of attacks.
- Use antimalware software. Using anti-malware software doesn’t stop screen hacking attacks, but it does prevent criminals from installing malware on your device if they take control of it.