How did Rupert Murdoch’s journalists hack into their victim’s phones?

smayonak July 15, 2011

You’ve all heard about Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal, where his journalists were illegally accessing the voice mails of celebrities/victims of violent crimes (including 9/11 victims). I was wondering how they were possibly doing this without the help of telecoms.

  1. Luke
    July 20, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Its Quite simple, you call the cell number and when you go to voicemail you press # or * depends on carrier and then enter the 4-6pin. Then you will have access to the Voicemails. Majority of phone carriers don't force you to change your pin so more than not its left as default - usually 0000 or soemthing. Since the hacking scandal alot of the carriers are forcing its users to change the pin when first accessing voicemails.

    • Smayonak
      July 20, 2011 at 4:22 am

      I believe you, but why would they need to pay former police officers to do this? It sounds as if the hacking involved police because they were also illegally tapping into the phone and perhaps even had telecom help.

      There's an excellent MakeUseOf article on the subject here:


  2. Smayonak
    July 20, 2011 at 3:40 am

    It's starting to look like Scotland Yard itself, as well as other law enforcement agencies, had a hand in helping Murdoch's NotW hack into their victim's phones.

  3. Johan Klos
    July 20, 2011 at 1:49 am

    the victims are unknown until they're victims, so my guess would be to just "guess" the voicemail passwords, 4 digits is (usually) all it takes, if I'm not mistaken

  4. Mike
    July 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    There are so much options ~ you could tap the land-line if it's overground or accessible at some point, you could tap the actual phone (within the homes), they could use parabolic microphones to capture the calls or just use some bugs they plant around/in the house. 
    They could get some malicious software for this purpose on a persons smartphone via Email or some third-party App.They also could have an insider at the service provider they paid for tapping or taping the calls.

    Without an official statement and investigation it's impossible to say.