I’ve been asked this question repeatedly over the last few years – is there a code to check if phone is hacked or tapped by someone? Wouldn’t it be great if this was true and it really worked?
So I decided to run some tests and see for myself if this could work.
Now I have to be honest here – I had looked into this briefly a while ago with mixed results using a couple of numbers.
The bigger problem as I see it is not so much the codes working or not – it is the fact that these codes are a very limited way to check if your phone is hacked.
On this website I have a whole section about Online Security covering all aspects of how to tell if your phone has been hacked and spyware detection and of course how to remove a hacker from your phone.
With so much experience of these topics I am naturally a skeptic of something as simple as using a code to tell if a phone is hacked. But I put this aside and continued with the test. Later on I will discuss the bigger issue of how effective these codes are.
Testing The USSD Phone Code
The codes most sites refer to are USSD Codes – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data codes also referred to as “Quick Codes”. Put simply, these USSD numbers allow the mobile phone or device user to access some hidden features.
They allow you to see certain data and information from your carrier and to access hidden information on your phone or device itself.
The first thing was to try and find some codes used to check if a phone has been compromised or tapped in some way. The problem is that these aren’t that widely known and they differ from types of phone, device and individual carriers.
Another problem was using code numbers that could in some way help to find a hack. Using a code to see your remaining balance doesn’t really help!
Once I had a set of codes to test I tried them on two of my test phones – a Samsung Galaxy A20 and an iPhone 5S. Obviously this is a limited test but I still wanted to see how these might perform in the real world.
How to Use the Code to Check if Phone is Hacked
You simply type these code numbers into your phone dial / keypad exactly as shown and hit the call button. They usually start and end with a * or a # with numbers in the middle. They are designed so that you are not likely to hit them by mistake.
Test Results – Using the Smartphone Code Number
These commonly quoted codes to check if your phone has been hacked or tapped are found easily online – and repeated by multiple websites.
So I tested the following codes and logged my results – if they worked or not.
Code to check if any redirection:
*#62* Did not work
*#62# Worked on Android and iPhone
Code to check if any call diversion:
*#21* Did not work
*#21# Worked on Android and iPhone
Code to check if call forwarding:
*#67# Worked on Android and iPhone
*#61# Worked on Android and iPhone
All three of these displayed the same MMI code report stating if any forwarding or diversion is taking place.
Code to automatically undo all redirection codes:
##002# Worked on Android and iPhone
Using The Utility Netmonitor Code To Check Redirection
These are touted as the best codes to use to check if your phone is hacked or tapped in some way without your knowledge. Using these is supposed to open up a secondary menu which can identify where your phone device signal is being routed.
The idea is that you can use this information to see if your data is being compromised through any suspicious relay tools – not regular network cell relay towers. To me this idea is totally whack for any normal user.
I doubt even an expert could use this information to come to any conclusion of being tapped. It will show no evidence whatsoever of any hacking done using commercial spy apps – the most common way for regular phone users to be hacked these days!
Worst of all – despite several websites repeating these codes – I couldn’t get any of them to work!
The Utility Netmonitor Code for Android:
*#*#4636#*#* Not working
*#*#197328640#*#* Not working
The Utility Netmonitor Code for iPhone:
*3001#12345#* Not working
*3001#12345# Not working
I tried several variations of these multiple times – I searched for more information online – and still couldn’t get any to work.
I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has managed to get these codes working – or is this just another case of bad or old information being spread online.
Other Popular USSD Codes I found Online
I have listed some of these out of interest but they are not relevant to finding any hacking evidence. They gave mixed results and many are pretty pointless as you can find most of the information in your phone settings and status.
*#06# Display your IMEI code – Worked on Android and iPhone
*#0*# General test mode – Worked on Android and iPhone
*646# Check available minutes – Not working
*225# Check your Balance – Not working
#31# Hide number From Caller ID – Not working
*43# Activate Call Waiting – Worked on Android
#43# Deactivate Call Waiting – Worked on Android
*5005*7672# SMS message center – Not working
*#*#232337#*# Display Bluetooth address – Not working
*#*#34971539#*#* Display camera information – Not working
*#*#1472365#*#* GPS Test – Not working
*2767*3855# This code is supposed to completely wipe the phone or device and reinstall the firmware – given the results from above I DID NOT test this – I don’t suggest you do either!
Conclusion – Can You Use a Code to Check If Phone is Hacked or Tapped?
I have already admitted that I started out being pretty skeptical about these codes – but I was shocked at how useless they really were!
Looking at what was actually working – you could check if there are any call redirects, any call forwarding or any call diversions set up on your phone. This amounts to the same report and really doesn’t help much to determine if you have been hacked.
The others I could get to work were totally unrelated to hacking or tapping in any shape or form. I could display the phones IMEI code, activate and deactivate call waiting – all of which are available from the phone settings anyway!
Why are the phone codes published online so unreliable?
So many didn’t work but that is hardly surprising. People have a tendency to just copy and repeat things published online without checking the facts for themselves.
The other big problem is that there is so much diversity in the smartphone market that set codes will not cover all types and models of phones and then add in the various network providers.
Regardless of them not working – my main point is that phone codes cannot help to check if your phone has been hacked, tapped or monitored in some way.
It sounds great at first – simply type in a code and you’ll know if someone has hacked your device! But the reality is that there is no easy way to find out if you have been compromised – you need to do some research.
Have a good read through the security section of my website and find some real actionable advice.
Thanks for reading.