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Hidden Spy Apps – Survive Flashing Rom?


"Dear Guys,
I'm planning to give my Galaxy S6 to my son, obviously with a spy app included.
Unfortunately, he's not exactly a newbie with these devices; I'm afraid that he'll find the app and/or makes it disappear.
What if he someday decides to flash another ROM? Will the spy app resist? I guess no, but… please… tell me I'm wrong.   Thank you. "


Sorry, but your emailed-question made us all laugh.  If your son is techically advanced enough to FLASH a rom into his phone, I would doubt that any spy app is safe.  But to answer your questions more thoroughly.

1.  "I'm afraid he'll find the (spy) app and/or make it disappear".

That is a possibility.  For example, he can look at his various processes and search the internet for all the process names.  Eventually he is liable to find matches to the apps and discover that a spy app has been installed.  Some apps even install with a "spy app" or "anti-theft" or "parental software" name, which makes it really easy to guess what is happening.

But why would he do this?  He could install an "anti spy app monitor detector" app that detects "spyware" and gives warnings about other apps that it isn't sure about.  I have one on my phone and it identifies Cerberus Anti-Theft as a spy app and then provides a warning about 6 other "suspicous" apps.  Again, I ask, why would he be worried enough to do this?

If the phone you are giving to him is rooted, you will have a greater chance of keeping the spy app hidden AND still installed if he resets the (but not all spy apps will survive a factory reset, but some will). 

2.  "What if someday he decides to flash another ROM?"

As I said previously, if he is this knowledgeable, you will likely not have any monitoring software installed for long.  But on a personal note, I have found that teenage girls (letting 2-year old cousins play with the phones) are worse on keeping spy apps installed than the technically knowledgeable guys.  They are usually trying to do other things and aren't worried about someone spying on their phone.

It also comes down to how much spying are you trying to do?

If you are only concerned about his location, then install Cerberus Anti-Theft and let him know you have installed an anti-theft service that you are paying for to make sure if his phone is lost that it can be found.

Beyond that, I think you have your work cut out for you.

Thanks for the Question.

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