Hacking is a technology that has caught the interest of people in more ways than one. The ability to track a particular phone number 24/7 has a certain appeal. Especially if the number belongs to someone close to you, and you are curious about knowing what they are secretive about.
With capabilities that vastly outsmart a computer, smartphones have become powerful tools. The audio, video and image files that these phones can store is incredible. Whether you are a concerned parent wanting to keep an eye on your children’s activities, or a spouse suspicious of your partner, or just want to have fun hacking into your friend’s phone, this article is for you.
The various methods detailed here teach you how to hack someone’s phone without their knowledge. Best of all, you can hack someone’s phone remotely without touching the phone. Read on to know the different methods used and which method works best.
Reasons to Hack a Phone
The reasons behind the need to hack someone’s phone are numerous. The main reason for a phone hack is to know the different activities a person does on his or her phone.
- Parents may want to track their kids, like who they are texting or sending photos, and other activities.
- A spouse may suspect his or her partner of cheating and want to confirm it by hacking into the phone.
- An employer may want to track the activities of his or her employees.
- Or, you may just want to hack a cell phone for fun, happy with the knowledge that you can do something so tech-savvy.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons you want to track a person via his or her phone. Now, let’s take a look at some of the most efficient methods to hack a phone.
Method #1: mSpy
As an effective and discreet tracking tool with good reviews, mSpy tracking software remains one of the most powerful tools that allow you to hack any Android phone. To install this software on a device, you need to have the device on you for about 10 minutes. For iPhones, you will only need the iCloud credentials of the target device to connect the app to it. A stable internet connection is necessary for a quick and successful installation.
How to install
Here are the steps to follow for the installation of mSpy. Due to the constant updates done on the Android OS, some of the menu features may differ, but they are still easy to decipher – like Apps instead of Application and Manage Application in place of App manager.
Before starting the installation, ensure that the target phone’s security feature under settings has a checkmark for the unknown sources. Also, remove the checkmark from the ‘Verify apps’ feature.
The feature may be found under the security option of Google settings in Android 5.0 version.
For Android 6.x.x and Android 7.x, the ‘Verify apps’ feature can be found under the security feature found in Google, which you should access via the application feature under settings.
In the security section, disable the “Scan device for security threats” option.
Step 1: Download mSpy
- On the home screen of the device, open the ‘All Apps’ section that has all applications and pick Google Chrome.
- In the address bar, type the address provided to you in the email you’ve received after the registration, and press enter. You will receive a captcha code that you should enter for starting the download process.
- The download will be in progress in the background with a small pop up message informing you of the progress.
Step 2: Installation
- Return to ‘All Apps’ section on the home screen and tap on the downloads icon. Tap on the bt.apk file seen in the downloads section to start installing the application.
- Once the file is opened, you have to tap on ‘Next’ button and then the ‘Install’ option and tap on ‘open’ in the subsequent screens that appear.
- Check the ‘Accept’ button under the license agreement after reading the EULA meticulously.
- Tap on ‘Prevent installation’ option to activate the feature.
- Tap on the ‘activate’ button to avoid removal and to activate the device administrator feature
- Activate the ‘Keylogger tracking’ feature upon which you will be taken to a new screen where you have to switch on the ‘Framework update’ feature.
- Activate the option, Allow Collecting Data upon which another screen opens where you click on the ‘Framework update’ as before and then the ‘Allow usage access’ tab. The collecting data feature is present in Android 6+ versions only.
- If you want the icon to be visible select the option.
- The installation process is complete.
Step 3: Clear all your traces
- The bt.apk file you downloaded can be deleted by going to Downloads. You can tap on the file and hold until trash bin icon appears and tap on the sign to delete it.
- Browsing history too can be deleted by visiting the menu button in your browser and going to settings.
- Under Settings, choose ‘Security and Privacy’ option and the ‘Clear Browsing history’ feature under it.
Now that you have completed the installation, mSpy is ready to use. There are several benefits you get with mSpy. Here are a few important ones that will help you in your smartphone hack endeavor.
You Can Monitor Calls and SMS
The control panel of the tracking software gives access to all calls to the phone (incoming and outgoing). You will be able to view the time of the call, duration, name of the contact, and the total calls made. Any call can be deleted from the call logs via the mSpy dashboard.
You can retain the call log history, even if the target phone user deletes it. Blocking of a particular number remotely is another handy feature this app offers.
Similar to the calls, you can also track the text messages (incoming and outgoing) stored on the target phone. The dashboard of the app will help you view the text messages along with the contact number, and timestamps. Reading a message even before the person it is intended for is also possible.
You Can Read Messages and Social Network Apps
The calls and text messages are but a small part of the hacking process. There are several more ways, such as monitoring the instant messaging and social media apps used in smartphones. These include WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, Skype, iMessage, Viber, Instagram, and more. With a legitimate app like mSpy, you will be able to monitor all of the most popular social media apps, when you hack people’s phone.
You Can Track Location
If you want to find out the target device’s exact physical location, mSpy has the GPS tracking feature. You can identify the physical location at around 20 meters approximately. mSpy uses the inbuilt GPS tracking system of the target phone to record its movements.
The geofencing is a very beneficial feature for parents as it can alert them when their kid breaches the virtual barriers set. They can monitor the movement of the target phone and get alerts if the device is tracked in the restricted area.
You Can Track Apps and Keylogging Activities
With the keylogging feature, you can record all keystrokes made on the target device and access things like passwords and search queries. You can also set up alerts for specific keywords and get notified when that word is typed on the keyboard.
You Can View Photos and Videos
With the mSpy’s control panel, viewing all media files including videos, photos, etc. is a piece of cake. Dashboard provides access to all media file details and properties. The size, timestamps, and dates can be viewed even if they are deleted from the target phone.
You Can Monitor Internet Activity
Monitoring browsing history and blocking specific websites from the target device is also possible with mSpy. You can visit the bookmarks of the user and block the websites you want. This is especially of use to parents who want to block inappropriate content from being viewed by their child. But this feature is available only for native Android browsers like Safari and Chrome. If the target device has a third-party browser, this feature might not work.
You Can Monitor Emails
For employers who need to keep track of the emails their employees receive, this feature is very handy. This helps them to ensure that all confidential company information is safe. The feature allows viewing of email addresses, content, details about the sender, and timestamps. This is similar to the call logs and text messages accessing features.
Method #2: Midnight Raid
This is a popular hacking method used in Android phones when you want to hack someone’s phone without them knowing. This requires installing spyware. The name midnight is because this hacking attack is usually done at night, when the user is sleeping with his phone left unattended either charging or on the side table.
The hacker tools you need for this method are two phones, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a laptop. Of the two phones, one is used as GSM modem linking the laptop and the second phone is for receiving information.
You need to send a text that says, ‘You are being hacked’ to the target phone. This invokes Internet Explorer on the device. Data is retrieved from the phone by running an application on it. You receive this SMS on the phone from which you sent the text to. You will also receive the unique ID of the phone, which is the IMSI number along with the text. This app can hack any information from the target device and even infuse viruses or initiate a DDOS attack. Stealing data like contact list etc. can also be done.
Method #3: Keylogger
Keylogger, as the name implies is an application designed to monitor and record all keystrokes. The app records all the activities on the target phone by recording keystrokes prior to their encryption. While the software is not used to directly hack someone’s phone, it can help you to record the passwords and other login details that will allow you to access their accounts. However, to use this method you require physical access to your target phone for installing the application.
Method #4: Control Message Attacks
In this method, control messages are sent to the target phone for hacking. Through the control message, you gain access to the settings features of the phone. This can be done without the user being aware of it.
The device can be left vulnerable to attacks by unchecking the SSL feature in it. The wipe command following the disabling of SSL feature will delete all information in the device. This mobile hacking method works only on smartphones and not PCs as they lack the SMS feature.
However, some smartphone security settings may prevent such attacks. The security is in more danger of being compromised due to the increased use of wireless devices.
Method #5: IMSI Catcher or Stingray
International Mobile Subscriber Identifier (IMSI) number is used by a device for identifying a cellphone tower and connect to it. When a cell phone does this, it can be lured to connect to a fake tower by using the IMSI catcher.
Stingray is a hacking tool brand and there are other brands such as false towers and cell-site simulators. The IMSI catcher is a hacking device that presents as a reliable cell phone tower infrastructure. You can access someone’s phone by using this method. The stingray can be fixed to a drone, vehicle, or in a fixed location. The method helps in detecting target device location, intercept text messages and phone calls, and also other devices that are in the vicinity. Reading unencrypted content is easy. Law enforcement uses IMSI catchers for nabbing culprits.
Method #6: SS7
In use since the 1970s, the SS7 protocol links all the major mobile networks globally. You can benefit from the call forwarding and roaming services with this method. It helps to hack someone’s phone from your computer. You can track target phone locations anywhere in the world, monitor calls, and more with just the phone number of the device. You need Linux OS, computer, and SDK for SS7 for this hacking method.
Method #7: Using Phishing
Phishing uses deceptive websites and emails to collect personal information. It is a sophisticated hacking method that lures the target with scam versions of authentic sites. This method is used to extract the credential of a user easily. If you manage to fool the targeted person into divulging information and providing access to hacking their phone is easy. The target will not be aware of the software, if they do not have any virus identifying software or antivirus installed on their phone.
Method #8: Sending Spam Messages
Google account is used in this method to hack into the target phone. Spam messages are sent after gaining access to the account of the target.
Since Google account is used for connecting to nearly all online activities including online shopping, social media access, bank account, etc. this method can help track the person’s activities.
If you cannot access the password, you will need the security code. The code is sent by Google to the target phone, which you can hack using the spam message.
Method #9: Using Free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Hotspot is easy to set up. A network operator can view all unencrypted traffic passing via the network. Although Wi-Fi and mobile operators are legitimate people operating under a certain set of regulations, anyone can set the hotspot.
You need to set free Wi-Fi connectivity near a café or hotel that your target visits. This also lures other unsuspecting customers. Once they connect to your Wi-Fi, you can access any unencrypted emails or conversations on their phones.
Method #10: USB Charger
Did you know that a USB charger too can be used for hacking? The chargers help in data transmission when you connect them to a computer.
The USB charger also acts as an attack vector. In a majority of Android versions, the hard drive is mounted by phone instantly when the cable links with the computer. You can upload any malware or spyware to the phone and access all data stored in your device.
Method #11: Cloak and Dagger Attack
The mismatched issues in permission in all Android devices up to 7.1.2 version are exploited in this cloak and dagger attack. Hackers can launch attacks that are undetectable.
With this method, you can retrieve pins, passwords, and obtain permissions without leaving a trace. The target need not view or accept the permissions during an attack.
You can steal information by installing malicious software in the target device, control all user inputs, and modify the website access of the user after getting their phone hacked.
Method #12: Third-Party Application
Third party apps that integrate with the services of popular companies like Dropbox, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, etc. can be used for hacking by intercepting data from them.
The app developer or a hacker can include malicious code in the app and with the company not being aware of the malicious content can allow access for the hacking.
While the company may use sophisticated encryption methods for data the third-party apps do not use them, which makes it easy for hackers to send a virus to someone’s phone.
Method #13: iCloud or Google Account
Google account for Android or iCloud for iOS smartphones is used for managing the phones. You can use the login and password details to hack into such accounts.
You can know the login details by requesting the information from Apple customer support. You need IMEI number of the phone for this method.
Another way is to bypass the lock screen activation. Both methods are not that reliable. However, with Google account, you can use the same method as explained in the spam messages sending method above. Use forgot password to gain access.
Method #14: Malicious Charging Stations
Many people use public charging stations for charging their phones, which can make it susceptible to the hacking method called juice jacking. This involves hijacking the power supply channel and installing malware on the target device for access to all data on the phone.
You can also set up tracking and mirroring of the phone screen to know the PIN and password. If the target device is charged frequently on a charging station in a public setting like hotels, airports, shopping centers, and more the phone can be hacked.
Method #15: FBI’s StingRay or Any Fake Cellular Towers
FBI has confirmed that it uses fake cell phone towers for collecting data from users as part of its criminal monitoring and other law enforcement activities. As mentioned in the Stingray or IMSI catcher method, this way works by faking to be a cell tower and gathering information from the target device by intercepting it and then passing the target device signal to the actual tower. Thus, the target will be unaware of the phone hack.
Method #16: SIM Card
Gaps present in the security program of SIM cards can make them easy targets for hacking. However, this is not possible with all SIM cards and only 25% of such cards can be hacked.
Further, the process is a bit complicated and needs special tools and applications. Hence, this works only if you are knowledgeable about hacking.
Method #17: Malware Software
As a secure and oldest method, malware software is an option that helps to spy someone’s phone remotely. The method involves the installation of an app or file in the target phone.
When the intended person views the file, the entire phone is infected. All data is corrupted by the file. This enables the hacker to access the information from the phone. The hacker can control the entire phone and monitor any feature of the phone.
Unless a specific technical process is used, the malware cannot be identified. Thus, this is a secure, safe, and remote way to hack someone’s phone with just their number. It is also affordable and cheap. Best of all it works instantly.
Method #18: Malicious Apps
This is another method that has been in use for a long time in remote mobile hacking. It does not pose any issue and is safe. However, you have to wait until the specific app is downloaded and installed in the target device.
Unofficial or third-party apps when downloaded on the target phone, infects it enabling easy hacking. You can now control all data present in the devices. It is difficult to remove malicious apps and is a safe and secure method, even if users take some time to download the app.
Method #19: AhMyth RAT
AhMyth RAT is an open source Remote Administration Tool (RAT) for Android devices. It uses a GUI interface. The RAT is made of two parts namely a laptop or desktop, which acts as a control panel for connecting to the RAT and the other part is the target device that you want to hack. AhMyth can be downloaded from GitHub using source code or binaries provided for it.
You create an APK, which is deployed in the target device and any method can be used to urge the user to download it. Or, if you have physical access to the device, you can download and hide the app.
Once it is set up you can take videos, pictures, read contact list, record audio, monitor and record calls, text messages, and delete or modify contents in the SD card.
How to Hack iPhone Using mSpy?
mSpy is a perfect choice when you want a spying or monitoring application for use in an iOS device. Its discreet interface and powerful analytics are highly useful for customers. It is one of the real phone hacker apps that help to track the target iOS device, whether it is a spouse or children you want to keep track of.
Once installed the software can give you free access to all information in the targeted device including SMS texts, GPS location, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.
mSpy has the same working principle as most spying software, which is gathering information from an iOS device and channeling the information to a specified control panel. The control panel is actually an account you create when you purchase the software. After channeling the information to your control panel/account, you can view it from any browser.
Note that jailbreaking your device is recommended for enjoying the entire features of the software, but it can also be done without jailbreaking your device (though the features available will be limited).
Steps to follow when using mSpy to hack iPhone
- Check for the compatibility of the targeted iOS device.
- After verification of compatibility purchase the mSpy software. You will be given a login and password along with the email address of the personal control panel.
- With the installation instructions for the software, you can set it up in the target device.
- The software collects data related to messenger, phone tracking, WhatsApp conversations, and more, which you can access via your internet browser anytime and from anywhere. The software provides a demo version to know about the features before you purchase.
How to Hack Android Phone Using mSpy?
If you want to spy on an Android phone, mSpy software is an ideal choice. Physical access to the target phone is must for this mobile hacking method. Rooting has to be done on the phone and then you can install mSpy in it. It is not possible to remotely install mSpy on Android phones.
If you are unfamiliar with rooting, it can be difficult but not impossible. You can use rooting apps or guides to perform the rooting.
Or, use mAssistance service offered by mSpy. It will run the root and help you through the installation steps. After rooting, you can access the control panel in mSpy. Choose the Android platform and follow the steps provided to complete the setup.
How to Remotely Hack Someone’s Phone?
You can remotely hack someone’s phone without having to physically possess it. There are several remote hacking apps for Android and iPhone devices that have an easy setup process.
While it is possible to remotely hack an iOS device, you cannot do it on an Android phone. If an app or method claims to perform remote Android hacking, it is a fraudulent one for sure. These apps can highly compromise the security of your phone.
Here are the steps for hacking iOS devices remotely:
- Buy the hacking app you prefer
- Enter Apple login details that link to the target device.
- Perform the subsequent prompts seen on the screen for completing the installation
- Log into the hacking app dashboard. You can view the information in the target device from the control panel.
How to Hack a Phone Camera?
Whether it is parents spying on their children’s activities or employers monitoring their employees’ activities, hacking of phone camera is very useful. mSpy is a good choice if you are considering using a tracking software to hack a phone camera. Here are the steps to complete for hacking phone camera easily:
- Visit the official website mSpy and select an appropriate package and the subscription
- Make the payment and provide an email address
- You will receive a welcome letter with details of mSpy account created for you
- Log in using the details provided and use the instructions provided to complete the installation.
- Install mSpy software in your phone and that of the target device
- Start accessing the camera app settings of the phone and the multimedia files
- If you have any issues with the setup or access you can contact mSpy support.
Attention! Resetting the Passcode – Bad Idea!
Are you considering resetting the passcode of your phone? This is a bad idea as the reset is very similar to the factory reset you perform on your phone.
All data on your phone will be deleted. You cannot track the messages or other data related to the target device. The best solution to keep your phone safe while spying on another device is to use reliable spying software like mSpy.
How to Tell If Your Phone Has Been Hacked
If you are suspicious of your phone being hacked there are certain signs that can easily point out to the issue. There are 6 signs that can confirm that your phone has been hacked.
6 Signs Your Phone May Have Been Hacked
Here are the 6 signs that indicate hacking. If your phone has a few or all of them, it is a sure sign of mobile hacking.
1. Noticeable decrease in battery life
If your phone is hacked, one important sign is the battery heating up. Or, in some cases you will notice the entire phone becoming hotter. The battery will drain quickly than ever, which is because the spyware used for hacking uses up your battery power to capture information and send them.
2. Sluggish performance
If you suddenly find that your phone has slowed down or uses more battery power without any reasons like recent OS updates or running of certain high-power using apps it is time to worry. The sluggish performance can be a sign of malware on your phone.
Sometimes hackers may use your phone remotely for tasks like mining cryptocurrency which draws a lot of power. If you notice your phone’s performance is below par, check the apps on your phone and the memory they are using and the amount of free space present.
3. High data usage
A sudden and unexpected data use increase is another sign of hacking. Check the data usage in your phone and the amount used by each app on your phone. Further the high data usage will also increase your phone bill.
4. Texts or outgoing calls you didn’t do
If you did not make any calls recently that indicate a high bill, you should check the calls you have made. In case, your phone is hacked, you would not be aware of your dialed calls. The same can happen to text messages.
Malware in your device can use your instant messaging, email, and text messages to send messages in your place and attach malicious files that can infect other devices. If any of your contacts complain of a suspicious message you sent, you should suspect of hacking.
If you hear background noises or interference while using your phone it indicates weak reception or maybe someone is listening to the calls you receive.
5. Mystery pop-ups
If you have mysterious popup notifications appearing on your phone screen asking you to perform certain actions, it is a sure sign of malware on your phone.
6. Unusual activity on any accounts linked to the device
You may suddenly notice new apps appearing on your phone, which you did not install. Further, you will notice that your regular apps are not performing properly. Your browsing history may show websites that you haven’t visited or addresses of harmful websites that it is a sign of hacking.
If your phone indicates a few or all of the above-mentioned signs of hacking, it is time you performed some emergency steps to remove the spyware from your device. These include:
- Download a trustworthy mobile security application such as Avast for your Android device and Lookout if it is an iOS device. Running a malware and antivirus scan on your phone will help identify the spyware present. The security app also provides call blocking, firewall, VPN and PIN require for app usage to avoid malware opening sensitive apps like online banking.
- Check reputed tech sites for new threat or malicious spyware announcements. Such sites have guides on how to remove malware from your device
- Delete any apps that you do not recognize. Many real phone hacker apps can be disguised as regular apps.
- Change all the passwords you use for your various social media accounts, email, and others with a secure phone. Make sure you create strong passwords and enable sign-in notifications from new locations or computers. Two-factor authentication is another feature that helps protect unauthorized account access. When answering security questions lie to make it more secure.
- Use factory reset and reinstall only the apps that you require and only from the official app store. Backup all data as well as contacts to enable easy resets and phone wipes.
- Get help from an expert in the field to remove the malware or spying software from your device
- To protect your device from hacking, you can avoid public Wi-Fi settings and use a VPN for securing your connection. It encrypts all data traffic making any digital package, that a hacker grabs, useless. This also safeguards you when you browse online.
- Another way to prevent mobile hacking is to turn off the auto connect feature on your smartphone. This will help in choosing trusted networks. And remember to turn off your hotspot and Bluetooth functions immediately after using them.
- Avoid clicking on links found in social media or email that look suspicious. Also do not download files that are suspicious. Charge phone using a trusted charger and avoid chargers present in rental cares. If you are choosing one, using the only charging option on your phone.
- Use the PIN and other protective measures on your phone and do not leave your phone unattended. This will help avoid hackers from physically accessing your phone.
- And last but not least, do not store information related to your bank account and credit card on your device. Prevention is always better than going in search of a cure. Ensure you keep your device safe with the above measures.
Is Hacking a Cell Phone Legal?
In general, all types of hacking methods are illegal and are mentioned for informative purposes only. You can try them to hack a cellphone, but solely at the risk of legal repercussions.
However, if you are using a legitimate app like mSpy for protective or tracking purposes like monitoring your (underage) children’s phones to protect them from malicious online websites, it is legal.
Similarly, if, as an employer, you want to monitor your employees using a spying software, it is legal provided you get consent from them and also provide them with phones for a particular purpose.
If you are intent on knowing how to hack someone’s phone without them knowing, there are multiple options that you can try including remote hacking and hacking with physical access to the target device. Most of the methods above are easy and widely available. But some methods are not easy to perform and not practical for use by regular people.
However, while you may choose any of the above-mentioned methods, using reliable and affordable software like mSpy is the easiest and successful method. The spying software application features multifunctional tools for monitoring that can be used for personal and business purposes. It can monitor the online activity of children, manage screen time and also keep track of them through GPS location tracking. And, if you want to access all information on target devices, mSpy is an ideal option to consider.
I’m Kevin Gaspy, mobile apps and hacks researcher who has worked for more than 10 years as an IT consultant. Studies hacking trends and cares about user safety on the Internet.