How to Hack a Phone: A Beginner-Friendly Guide

Updated: October 22, 2020

4 comments

Recent technological innovations have created a culture of oversharing. We are surrounded by social media, chats, smartphones, and other tools that have enabled us to broadcast our personal lives.

That consequently leads to various exploitation opportunities for malicious actors, who’d like to get ahold of sensitive information through hacking techniques.

To show how vulnerable these devices can be, we’ve performed research that covers different methods of phone hacking. This article is for educational purposes only.

Is it possible to hack into someone’s phone without touching it?

Although hacking a phone remotely, or only by knowing the victim’s phone number is possible, it is not that easy to perform.

There isn’t a universal hacking app that will give you access to anything and everything.

If you’re an advanced computer user who knows how to write programs, you can utilize more sophisticated methods to achieve your goal. We will discuss some of them later on in the article.

On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, using ready-made software might be a better and more effective option.

“These methods aren’t considered to be actual hacking, but they can yield similar desirable results. Users can utilize a wide variety of spy apps, tools, and programs that have proven to be effective.”

However, bear in mind that most of these tools and techniques require physical access.

We will cover the following:

  • Spy apps
  • Keylogging
  • Phishing
  • Midnight raid
  • Advanced hacking methods

What are spy apps, and how do they work?

Spy app is a ready-made software that comes with a control panel and a  wide variety of features, such as:

  • GPS tracking
  • Monitoring call logs
  • SMS tracking
  • Monitoring social media accounts
  • Geo-fencing
  • Accessing browser history
  • Accessing media files

Software solutions, such as mSpy, can enable you to get access to devices remotely without jailbreaking, but only if you have the target’s iCloud account credentials.

They are great because they operate in real-time and can provide you with monitoring features. That includes unobstructed access to the victim’s incognito web browser history, social media apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Tinder, Instagram, you can even hack their Skype.

Also, some of them even come with a keylogger feature.

The installation process is very straightforward, and it only takes around 5 minutes.

  • Obtain the target’s iCloud credentials.
  • Purchase a spying app no-jailbreaking package.

mspy instructions

  • Once done, you will receive a valid registration code, enter it.

mspy ios

  • Check detailed instructions on what to do.

start mspy

 

Once the app has been successfully installed on the targeted device, you will have access to a control panel, where you’ll be able to fully control Android and iOS remotely – calls, text messages, contacts, browsing history, etc.

What is Phishing, and how does it work?

Phishing is one of the most popular ways to hack a phone because it doesn’t require any physical access.

The target is contacted via email or SMS. The whole purpose is to make the target believe that your email is legitimate and to convince them to open a link that you’ve previously created. That is usually done by impersonating a real company or organization.

However, it takes some patience and attention to detail.

phishing attack

Image source: msp360.com

Here’s how to do it:

1. Decide which organization you’d like to impersonate.

The most popular types include payment companies (PayPal, Payoneer), banks, etc.

2. Create a fake website that resembles the original as much as possible.

Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and other details, because a single mistake can give you away. Make sure to include a login page.

3. Obtain the target’s mobile phone number or email

4. Create your email.

Make sure that the username and the domain name are as close to the original as possible. If you’re impersonating PayPal, for example, buy a domain that is something like pay-pal.net, pay-pal.org, etc.

5. Write an email or a text that says that an urgent account action is required.

You can say that the target’s account needs to be verified, that their account was hacked, or something similar.

6. Make sure to include a logo and other details to make it seem believable.

7. Include a login link.

The goal is to have the victim open the link and enter their login credentials.

8. Send the email /text and wait for a response.

If successful, the victim will have logged onto the fake website and entered their credentials.

9. Then, use the obtained information to hack their mobile phones or access other accounts.

Bear in might, though, that your email might end up in the Spam folder, preventing the victim from opening it. Because of that, sending a text might be a better option.

What is a keylogger, and how does it work?

A keylogger is another effective hacking method that is quite beginner-friendly.

You do not require any prior knowledge, nor any programming skills. However, you will need to gain physical access to the victim’s device to install the app.

Keylogger works by memorizing every stroke that a person makes on their mobile phone. So, you will be able to piece together every text, every password, and every email address.

One of the top keyloggers for beginners is mSpy because it does all the work for you.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Purchase the app.
  2. Find a way to install the app on the victim’s phone or computer.
  3. Once done, just sit back and relax.

All data will be relayed to your device, and you can use it to access the victim’s accounts and devices.

Pro Tip: We recommend going for a paid option because most of the free keyloggers that can be found online have been laced with malware, or simply don’t work.

What is the Midnight Raid method, and how does it work?

The midnight raids method is not precisely beginner-friendly, but non-advanced users can still make it work.

The process is rather easy, and all hacking equipment you need is a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, a WAP Push app, a data-retrieving software, and two phones.

One phone will act as a GSM modem for the laptop, while the other phone will receive information. This method is called “midnight raid” because it’s usually performed while the victim is asleep.

Here is how to hack a phone by using this method:

  1. Locate the targeted device.
  2. Send a text message to the target’s phone that says something like, “You’ve been hacked.”
  3. This message should be followed by a push message that prompts the victim to install a “security software.” You will create that message by using the WAP Push message app.
  4. The push message is delivered in a way that triggers the browser. So, the victim doesn’t even need to click the link.
  5. Once done, the process will begin. The data-retrieving app will provide you with the phone’s IMSI number, which is a unique phone ID.
  6. You can also use the app to retrieve other information, such as the contacts list.

Popular Advanced Hacking Methods

On the other hand, there are a lot of other, more aggressive forms to hack a phone.

However, bear in mind that these attacks are for advanced users who have prior coding experience, so not everyone is capable of performing them. Because this article is beginner-friendly, we won’t be going in-depth about how to carry them out.

Advanced attacks include:

  • Cloak and dagger attack
  • Control message attack
  • Hacking someone with IMSI Catcher or Stingray
  • SS7 vulnerability

Cloak and dagger

Cloak and dagger attack is a newer form of exploitation that affects Android devices.

It works by enabling a malicious app to fully control the UI feedback loop, hence giving unobstructed access to the phone. The phone user usually doesn’t notice that their phone is infected.

cloak and dagger explained

Image source: Infosecinstitute.com

To be successful, this attack only requires two permissions.

Attackers can extract passwords, pins, and a lot of other sensitive information. To make the matter even worse, this exploit is still active, and there aren’t any known fixes.

Control message attack

A control message attack is another advanced way to hack a phone that includes sending a control message to the target device. The control message travels over the GSM network and ends up in the victim’s phone that is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Then, you can use dedicated toolkits to sniff internet traffic or uncheck SSL to make the device vulnerable.

Hacking someone with IMSI Catcher or Stingray

IMSI Catcher or Stingray hacking prey on the weakness of security protocols that are found in smartphone operating systems. An Android phone can identify a cell tower through its IMSI number.

Since the phone always connects to the nearest tower, hackers can use this knowledge and set up false towers. If a device connects to the fake cell tower, it is left vulnerable to hacking and exploitation.

SS7 vulnerability

SS7 vulnerability enables hackers to intercept SMS messages, phone calls, and the user’s location.

ss7 vulnerabilities explained

Image source: mono-live.com

SS7 stands for Signaling System No 7, and it is a mechanism that connects one call to another. It was discovered that SS7 has a vulnerability that can be exploited by hackers.

Namely, if they gain access to the SS7 system, they have the same amount of access as security services.

Conclusion

As you can see, obtaining access to cell phones is quite easy. Not only that, but there are so many different ways to go about it.

However, bear in mind that most of these hacking techniques only work on smartphones that have an internet connection.

You can’t use any of these methods on older mobile versions.

Also, if you get caught breaking privacy laws by law enforcement, you are likely to face some legal consequences, so do not try this at home.

This article is for educational purposes only and should be taken lightly.

4 comments

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  • jen

    Trying to decide what is the best way to get sms messages sent to my phone from a targeted phone

  • Gerri

    Confusing. So many to download. Don’t know one from the other. Some are saying you have to have target phone. If I could get to his phone I wouldn’t need this. He has fingerprint, but I have code to get in.

    • Anjelica Rivera

      If hacking was easy, everyone would do it 😉 Yes, you need access to the phone to install it.