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The papers have been (and still are being) splattered with stories about The News Of The World hacking into people’s phones/voice mail. Most however skip over how exactly the phones where hacked. This led to me having a picture in my mind of reporters paying teams of highly skilled computer hackers to get through the phone networks firewalls to get at phone call information, voice mails and even texts.

Turns out the truth is a lot simpler.

Having looked into it further I’ve discovered that the techniques used seem to be a lot less elaborate. One way mentioned is a private investigator would simply call the victim’s voice mail service using a spoofed caller ID set to match the victims number (supposedly phone networks used to simply use caller ID to let users access their voice mails) and this would get them straight into the victim’s voice mail service. Simply! I’m shocked networks used to have such poor security on voice mail!

What if the voice mail needs a P.I.N entered? Well the other way the phones were hacked, apparently, is that a private investigator would call the network pretending to be the victim and get the P.I.N by saying they had forgotten it, or something else along those lines.

All very low tech ways to ‘hack’ a phone if you ask me, but I guess they worked. My solution to this problem? Don’t have voice mail set up. OK, maybe I just don’t have it set up because my network charge me to call it (an outrage I know!)