Expert finds new way to hack smartphones

As smartphones become more popular, hackers will put more effort into finding ways to compromise the devices. One security expert says he may have found the next big threat.

University of Luxembourg research associate Ralf-Philipp Weinmann plans to unveil a new smartphone hack at next week’s Black Hat security conference in Washington, D.C., ComputerWorld reports.

Weinmann said he has found a way to use most phones’ auto-answer feature to turn the phone into a “remote listening device.” Most previous smartphone hacks have involved finding vulnerabilities in the device’s operating system and applications, making this a new area of attack.

The hack is complicated and involves, among other things, setting up a fake cell phone tower, so it may not be a widespread threat just yet.

However, experts warn, research into this area is just beginning, so hackers may soon find more simple and cost-effective ways to carry out this type of exploit.

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