HOUSTON -- In the wake of the News of the World cell phone hacking scandal we wanted to see if anything was different in the years that have passed since that hacking took place, or if it was different in this country.

So KHOU 11 News visited Sidney May at

We are able to do basically everything that a cell phone user can do to his or her own cell phone voicemail, he said.

With May s help we were able to hack, with permission, into a KHOU 11 News employee s cell phone voicemail in no time.

I'd say 15 minutes, May said.

It was way too simple, a process hackers call spoofing.

Anybody can just go in and listen to your personal messages. Find out things about you that people would not normally know, May said.

It can happen even if it's password protected.

We didn't need it, May said. That s because it was bypassed automatically when the voicemail thought our phone was our producer s phone.

Just listening to the voicemail is just a part of what we were able to do, from the inside we could change everything: the name, greeting and even the password.

Christina Ibarra watched us do the whole thing.

I didn't think that could be possible or that easy. That is crazy. It is pretty scary to think that anybody could just get into your cell phone and take ownership like that, she said.

We asked her: Do you think it could happen to you?

Oh yeah, it could just happen to anybody, she said.

How protected you are from this sort of attack depends on several variables, including who your cell phone provider is. They have different requirements, but the only sure fire way to stop the kind of attack that we did is to make sure that you have to enter your own password every time you check your voicemail. Bypassing that password puts you at risk.

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