According to Edward Snowden, the world’s spy agencies can take over smartphones with just an invisible text message. This message will allow spies to gain access to the phone’s camera and microphones.
According to the UK’s Independent:
The set of tools is called “Smurf Suite”, according to Snowden. Each of the individual tools has their own name — “Dreamy Smurf” lets the phone be powered on and off, for instance, and “Nosey Smurf” lets spies turn the microphone on and listen in on users, even if the phone itself is turned off.
GCHQ (the UK’s intelligence agency) even has a tool called “Paranoid Smurf” that hides the fact that it has taken control of the phone. The tool will stop people from recognising that the phone has been tampered with if it is taken in for a service, for instance.
This is more detail of what Snowden meant earlier in the year when his lawyers said that Snowden doesn’t use an iPhone because it “has special software that can activate itself without the owner having to press a button and gather information about him, that’s why on security grounds he refused to have this phone”.
Is this software available for BlackBerry? Not mentioned. Not as likely as this is a very large investment. The NSA has spent $1 billion on similar tools.