Google removed 7 spy apps from Play Store

By : |July 18, 2019 0

Yesterday, Avast reported to Google about the apps on Google Play Store which were spying on users data. All the 7 spy apps are designed by a Russian developer to allow people to stalk employees, romantic partners, or kids. Avast detected and reported about these apps, called “Spy Tracker”, “Employee Work Spy” and “SMS Tracker”, to Google, who removed all of the seven apps from Play Store.

All together, these apps have been installed more than 130,000 times, with the most installed apps being Spy Tracker, and SMS Tracker, both with more than 50,000 installs.

The apps all require the snoop to have access to the phone they want to spy on. The snoop needs to download it from the Google Play Store and install it on the target device. The app then prompts the person who installed the app to enter their email address, and following this, a password for the spying app will be sent there.

The apps can track the surveilled person’s location, collect their contacts, SMS and call history. If the phone is rooted it also allows the spy to collect the victim’s WhatsApp and Viber messages.

The apps were published under the following names:

Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free
Spy Kids Tracker
Phone Cell Tracker
Mobile Tracking
Spy Tracker
SMS Tracker
Employee Work Spy

Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Head of Mobile Threat Intelligence and Security, who identified the apps using Avast’s mobile threat detection platform apklab.io said that “These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store, as they promote criminal behaviour, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. Some of these apps are offered as parental control apps, but their descriptions draw a different picture, telling users the app allows them to ‘keep an eye on cheaters’. We classify such apps as stalkerware, and using apklab.io we can identify such apps quickly, and collaborate with Google to get them removed.”

No Comments so fars

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.