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  • 1 Post By Assassin Droid
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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Question question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    when i install those chat programs, some of them ask me permission to get access to my photos, etc.

    i wonder if they want, can they easily look at my photos, documents, etc in my tablet?

    will firewall be able to prevent that? or are there any apps to show me if anyone is trying to get access to those things?
  2. #2  
    Assassin Droid's Avatar
    Assassin Droid

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    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    If you're talking about app permissions, my assumption would be that a chat program needs permission to view photos in case you want to share something from your gallery. Typically, if you grant an app access to part of the device, yes the app has the ability access to that. If by, "bad people" you mean the developers, I would strongly recommend not downloading any apps from developers that you do not trust to handle your data according to the privacy policy they have posted, within the context of user feedback and what their permissions allow. If an app has a permission you are uneasy about, it's usually very easy to email the developer to ask why that app needs the specific feature and how information gathered in such a way is used.
    Devlyn16 likes this.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Sometimes I wonder if some apps were developed by NSA fronts.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    If you grant the application access to your data it has access to your data. If you also grant the application access to the Internet, which you have to with a chat program, it can send that data were every it wants. A firewall will not help since you would have to allow the chat program to get traffic through the firewall for the program to work. Another reason not to use chat programs.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    is there anyway to find out? in theory, they all can look at our pics, documents, etc. those companies may not permit it, but some employees can do it at home at leisure.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Unless the developer added a log file or other tracking mechanism I don't think there is anyway to see if an application accesses a resource for which it has been granted permissions. Android has a list of permissions that applications can request. It is up to you to determine whether you are comfortable with the permissions the application requests.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    lots of people use chat programs, i am surprised that no one seems to find a solution for this possible hacking problem.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Anything can be potentially abused or hacked. There's no way to completely sure you're safe except by not using it at all. Most popular apps are generally safe but it's your call to use it.
    Nexus 6, Midnight Blue
    Previously: Moto X (Ebony wood back, silver accents, black front) - Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Droid X - Blackberry Tour 9630 - Dumbphones
  9. #9  
    sting7k's Avatar

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    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    It doesn't mean that the developer can remote into your phone and see all your naked pics. It means that should you have the desire to send a photo the App has the ability to read locally stored photos for you to select one to upload.

    Beamed via my Nexus 7 from the AC Forums app.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppystud View Post
    lots of people use chat programs, i am surprised that no one seems to find a solution for this possible hacking problem.
    What hacking problem? If you give the app permission then you authorized the activity, so there's no unauthorized access. By definition.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppystud View Post
    lots of people use chat programs, i am surprised that no one seems to find a solution for this possible hacking problem.
    Because it is not a problem. Any chat program on any phone, tablet, laptop or PC has the same security concerns.
    Pat

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  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    so it is very likely that if the government want to spy someone, they can just do that thru the chat programs. and the user himself won't even be able to find out.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppystud View Post
    so it is very likely that if the government want to spy someone, they can just do that thru the chat programs. and the user himself won't even be able to find out.
    Yes. But they are already tracking and maybe listening to your cell phone calls and texts via the providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc), so why worry about chats?
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    for the last few days ,some of my gallery photos became total gray. sometimes when i try to edit the gallery photos, the picture will become total gray. i usually delete them right away.

    so it is kind of odd for me to see gray photos in the gallery, especially old photos became totally gray. i don't edit those old photos.

    that is why i have this question. i don't know if it is due to the tablet itself or if indeed someone is spying my tablet thru the chat programs. and i am not a crazy person.



    --------
    update on 6-25

    i just found out that if i restart the tablet, sometimes those gray unviewable pics became visible again. so i guess that it is something wrong with the system itself, not that someone was trying to play tricks with me.

    on the other hand, it is not impossible for anyone to spy on your tablet. so i am not delusional here.
  15. #15  
    Assassin Droid's Avatar
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    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppystud View Post
    for the last few days ,some of my gallery photos became total gray. sometimes when i try to edit the gallery photos, the picture will become total gray. i usually delete them right away.

    so it is kind of odd for me to see gray photos in the gallery, especially old photos became totally gray. i don't edit those old photos.

    that is why i have this question. i don't know if it is due to the tablet itself or if indeed someone is spying my tablet thru the chat programs. and i am not a crazy person.
    Due to the previously mentioned and alluded to safeguards (this topic is covered many times here), the odds that a person has sufficient access to your device, is interested in your data and photos and is actively retrieving that data on a somewhat regular basis, unless you specifically know someone that has had physical access to your device, has the required knowledge and a reason to spy on you, are astronomically low. They're above the odds us finding a living unicorn in the Brooklyn Zoo, but less than the odds of the same person being struck by lighting both an hour before and after a transatlantic flight. Means, motive and opportunity. The means is fairly difficult, the motive is almost non-existent unless it's a personal grudge and the opportunity would require either your cooperation or someone having your device in their hands to be most effective. It can be done remotely, but again, it's not worth the effort unless you're secretly Keira Knightley and those photos are of you sunbathing in Greece. Do you know someone who would hack your device to steal photos from you?
  16. #16  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Hey, we have a unicorn rancher on here, there must be unicorns!
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    it is not completely crazy to think that someone might be hacking your email accounts, your tablets, etc.

    Google Online Security Blog: Detecting suspicious account activity

    google created that just to alert people if someone is reading their emails from another location.
  18. #18  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by preppystud View Post
    it is not completely crazy to think that someone might be hacking your email accounts, your tablets, etc.

    Google Online Security Blog: Detecting suspicious account activity

    google created that just to alert people if someone is reading their emails from another location.

    If your worried about it don't put anything on your device that you would not post on a freeway billboard. I do try to do that.
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    i am sure that you have heard about the usa government spying on its own people.

    for sophisticated government agent or hackers, i assume that they have no need to install any extra programs.

    for example, if i am a government agent or a chat app company with bad intention, i can just ask chat app companies, such as facebook, etc, ask them to have one extra function on their chat apps, which will allow the government or the company itself to upload all the information a certain user has while using the particular app.

    so if i want to spy on that person, i can just enter his/her user name, then all the information s/he has, when s/he was using that chat app, will also be sent to my account. it is just easy.

    and the person won't even know.

    lots of apps ask us for permission to get access to our phone list, folders, etc. so if we let them to get access to those information, they can just remotely check all those contents anytime they want since most of the tablets are connected to the internet 24 hours a day.
  20. #20  
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    Default Re: question about bad people using chat programs to spy ?

    None of my business, but what do you have on your tablet that you are concerned about? Could you store it somewhere else? Or use software to encrypt it?

    I am in IT security, I suspect if I wanted to, with a bit of profiling, I could find you on-line and gain access to your system. Will I? No, firstly and foremostly, I just don't roll that way. But if I were a bad actor, I would first have to ask myself if the reward outweighed the risk. Breaking in to individual devices is time consuming, easy to trace and 99.999% of the time, what you find is of little value. In my case, some pictures, a few very uninteresting emails, some phone numbers and email addresses.

    Much better would be to put malware on your device and capture keystrokes, have those sent to some compromised server, discard everything that is not interesting (look for 16 digit numbers starting with a 4 might be VERY interesting). Then come back every few days and pick up the interesting data. Much harder to trace and a much higher yield. With our Android devices, getting malware installed is very difficult (OK, actually easy) but easier to avoid. Don't sideload. Very few (if any) malware is installed via the play store. Your windows computer on the other hand, can get malware daily, most is harmless, just tracking for targeted adds, but some will be keyloggers.

    The other high ticket is phishing. Send you an email asking you to log in and change your password (make it look like it came from your bank). Many people are so concerned they will click the link, and expose their user id and password to the bad actor. You send out a million emails, if 1% respond, you could get hundreds of thousands or millions easily. The thing that gets me, if you get an email and it concerns you, why click the link, you likely have bookmarked your banks website, just go directly and change your password (then the bad actor is not part of the transaction and you are safe).

    While it's possible a bad actor (or bad government) may want access to your device, but if the data on it is of little value, and if you are generally operating within the laws of your government, you are just not a target.

    Personally, I think the picture issue you had, is not related to the chat app, and the app you have is likely not an issue. I would be more concerned with the content of the chat (is there anything there that makes you a target, or causes law enforcement concern) than with the actual app itself. Lastly, look at the number of installs. If an app has been installed 50,000 times (or more) and there are not a bunch of reviews saying it's spyware, then likely the developer is a good guy providing a valuable and useful tool.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
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