How to Tell If Someone Is Hacking Your iPhone

Updated February 21, 2017

Although you might think Apple products -- such as the iPhone -- cannot be hacked, this is not the case. Hacking an iPhone is not only possible, but well documented. Once hacked, your iPhone will begin acting strangely. Luckily, there are ways to prevent against your iPhone from being hacked.

Initial Hack

If your Apple iPhone is on the verge of being hacked, you will receive a single text message -- known as a SMS -- or a series of text messages. The message will only display a single square character. This is a similar trick used by hackers to corrupt a computer by sending you an e-mail through your e-mail account. However, unlike a computer hack that requires you to open the email and click on a link, an iPhone hack only requires you to receive the text message. Once the message is sent, the hack has begun.


If your iPhone has been hacked, the warning signs will become apparent. For starters, hackers can make calls remotely using your phone, altering your call history. The camera within the phone will turn on by itself. Text messages can be sent from your iPhone to those in your address book. In short, all functions of the iPhone can be controlled by the hacker, allowing them to steal and use any personal data you might have stored on it.


Ways to protect yourself against an iPhone hack exist, although no method is full proof. For starters, if you receive the square character as a text message, turn your phone off. Do not hesitate in doing this. Once the phone is turned off, hackers cannot penetrate it. For similar reasons, keep your iPhone off when it's not is use. Outside of preventing a hack, this will also save you battery life. If you fear personal information -- such as credit card numbers -- have been stolen from your iPhone, cancel your cards. Once an iPhone has been hacked, it can be used to hack other iPhones by sending the square character through text messages. Ask your friends if they have received such a message from your phone and, if they have, inform them that their phone might be hacked.


In June 2009, security researcher Charlie Miller discovered that the Apple iPhone had the ability to be hacked using the methods mentioned above. A month later, he and fellow researcher Collin Mulliner revealed the news at the Black Hat Cyber Security Conference in Las Vegas. Dai Zovi, who co-authored the book "The Mac Hacker's Handbook," states that Apple products such as the iPhone run the risk of becoming more vulnerable to hackers and may one day be as vulnerable as Windows-based machines.

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About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.