Maybe you can be one of the people who are reading this completely amazed with this news, apps that are used for spying! Well, yes. However, we also suspect that more than one of you is reading this article today because you already know very well what we are talking about and have heard about them, ha! Did we surprise you? That’s not done! Well, beyond the controversy that, for obvious reasons, raises the issue of privacy, we are going to tell you what Google is doing with this type of situations.
For this reason, you should know that mobile threat researchers from the cybersecurity firm Avast, found no more and no less than seven applications in the Google Play Store, specially designed for anyone to spy and harass others.
Here is what is known about the apps used for spying
The cybersecurity company’s first and foremost suspicion is that the apps being used for spying come from Russian developers. They also stated that these have been installed about 130,000 times, and, in addition, that the most famous thanks to the number of downloads are Spy Tracker and SMS Tracker, both with more than 50,000 downloads.
The seven apps Avast found were mainly used to spy on partners, children and even employees. So Google reacted immediately and what did it do? Well, it seems the best thing you could have done: remove them from your store.
These apps required the spyware to have access to the cell phone they wanted to spy on. It could download the applications from the Google Play Store and install them on the target cell phone. Subsequently, the application asked the person who installed it for their email address and a password in order to send the app. In addition, these also allowed camouflaging and hiding surveillance, i.e. uninstalling anything visible to the owner of the cell phone. All in the best Agent 007 style!
When these apps used for spying were configured, there was no icon to alert the eavesdropper of what was happening. In the meantime, they could unknowingly track your location, collect your contacts, call and SMS history.
After the fact, Nikolaos Chrysaidos, head of intelligence and security at Avast commented:
“These apps are unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and should not be on the Google Play Store. They promote criminal behavior, and can be used by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims.”
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