On Wednesday, Motherboard showed how powerful off-the-shelf, $170 spyware really is. For a day, I used a piece of software on my phone to surreptitiously collect GPS location data, intercept phone calls, and silently steal photos.
Although a hacker can only infect a phone if they have physical access to the device, the threat from this type of malware is very real. It is heavily used by, and marketed towards, jealous lovers to spy on their spouses. For around two decades, people have used spyware for this purpose, with many cases ending up in violence or even murder.