11 April, 2011

How to use a 'phone

Much has been said about the ‘phone hacking’ allegations against the News of the World, and I think a little bit of light needs to be shone in here.

First, as I have said before, this is not hacking ( I have this on the authority of someone who would know). What the perpetrators did was wait for a time when the phone owner was talking or the ‘phone was turned off, and dial the number. If you then insert a code the system gives you your messages, thinking the caller is the owner. Most people leave their codes at 0000 or 1234 as set by the factory.

In particular two points have to be made: firstly, that if the News of the World was doing it, it was almost certain that other papers were doing it, too. Second, if you are a public figure or someone who deals in confidential information and you are so stupid as to not to change your messages code you deserve everything you get.

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