March 03, 2004

Beware the Spy Phone

A company named Endoacustica claims they can modify Nokia and Siemens cell phones to reprogram them as spy phones. The site displays the Nokia 8310 relabeled as the "SPY-PH-NOKIA 8310". This phone can be used with any sim card in any country.

They claim the cell phone operates as usual for incoming and outgoing calls. That is, until someone calls it using a preprogrammed number. Then it answers automatically without ringing or lighting up, and the display appears to remain in ordinary standby. This enables the caller to listen to the cell phone's surrounding sounds and conversations, rather like a baby monitor.

Bottom line: Don't accept cell phones as gifts or loaners. I suppose it depends upon how the modification is done, but wouldn't the eavesdropper's airtime show up on the spyphone's monthly provider bill?

[Link courtesy of Gizmodo.]

Topic(s):   Privacy & Security
Posted by Jeff Beard

The good old USA, State of Ohio and Summit County,
is where the "double dipping" is occurring as to charging for incoming calls that you perhaps never encouraged or sought or even was a wrong number! Isn't that a hoot? Highway robbery is what it is.

Posted by: Joseph C. McLeland at May 8, 2004 10:23 PM

Charging for both outgoing and incoming calls on
the cell phone bill is a rip-off, a "gold mine" for the cellular industry. This is not "fiar and
reasonable" air-time use billing for mobile phones as required by 47 USC 721©. This practice apparently now nationwide, is fairly new
and readily doubles ot tripples, or more, what was previously charged for the same usage time-wise. There should be an ivestigation for price-
fixing in the cell phone business.

Posted by: Joseph c. McLeland at May 8, 2004 10:16 PM

Thanks Joe. By the way, which country is that? In the U.S., cell carriers generally double dip by charging the airtime minutes against both the callee cell phone and the caller if he/she also used a cell phone.

Even if the caller called during nights and weekends, or used a landline phone to call the spyphone, callees with "detail billing" on their account should receive a detailed listing of each call in or out (including the other party's phone number) so the person being spyed upon might get wise if they were paying close attention to their bill. Or so my theory goes, anyway...

Posted by: Jeff Beard at March 22, 2004 07:50 PM

"but wouldn't the eavesdropper's airtime show up on the spyphone's monthly provider bill?"

In my country, no. Our providers only bill the caller, not the called party.

Posted by: Joe at March 22, 2004 03:04 AM