According to an article out in the Wall Street Journal this week, it appears that the FBI has been busy exploiting vulnerabilities in the Android operating system to spy on people. Hopefully they’re just spying on the bad guys, but with things going as they have been lately, who knows?
According to the WSJ’s source, the FBI resorts to these tactics when they’re out of options, and “don’t have any other choice.” The tools used to gather the data are often installed remotely, using essentially phishing style links that injects essentially Trojan software when clicked by a suspect under surveillance. They can also be installed via physical access and a USB drive, the report says, and in all cases the FBI tries to ensure only “relevant data” are gathered by its hacking efforts, through the use of a screening team that checks for relevancy before handing information off to investigators working the case.
The FBI employs a number of hackers who write custom surveillance software, and also buys software from the private sector, former U.S. officials told the WSJ.