Google removes stalker apps Spy Tracker and SMS Tracker from its Play Store
Google has removed seven stalker apps that were available on its Play Store as apps for children's safety or finding stolen phones but were being used to stalk employees, romantic partners or kids.
 
The apps were able to track the surveilled person's location, collect their contacts, SMS and call history.
 
Mobile threat researchers at anti-virus company Avast detected the apps on Google Play Store that were all likely designed by a Russian developer.
 
Avast reported these apps to Google which then removed them from the Play Store.
 
The apps have been installed a combined 130,000 times, with the most-installed apps being Spy Tracker, and SMS Tracker, both with more than 50,000 installs.
 
"These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people's privacy and shouldn't be on the Google Play Store," Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast's head of mobile threat intelligence and security, said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
"They promote criminal behaviour, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. We classify such apps as stalkerware," he added.
 
It's hard to tell if your device has stalkerware installed on it as you will not see an app icon on your smartphone.
 
The apps require the person to have access to the phone they want to spy on. The person can download the apps from the Google Play Store and install them on the target device.
 
The app then prompts the person who installed the app to enter their email address and password. The spying app is sent there.
 
"Upon setup, there is no app icon, so the targeted person does not see any sign of the stalkerware app installed on their phone," said Avast.
 
For example, the description of "Spy Tracker" app on Google Play read: "Find out more about your child's life, interests, friends and plans. Parents are responsible for every step that their kids make. So this app is created to monitor them and protect them from dangers that can be revealed via cell phone."
 
According to SMS Tracker, "our app will help you monitor work time of your employees to save time and save money. Notify the users of work phones that you are going to install the app. It will teach your employees to use their time at work wisely, to reduce time spent on messengers and arrive to work in time".
 
In April, Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious. In 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  • User

    Layout: Edit and Stitch Together up to 9 Images for Instagram
    This is a simple app which allows you to stitch up to nine images together and load them onto Instagram. Instagram allows you to add only one image at a time. 
     
    However, sometimes you may wish to combine multiple similar selfies or landscape shots to fit into one collage picture. This app lets you do just that.
     
    It also helps you tweak many parameters for each photo, including the size, border width or zoom. You are the editor; so feel free to experiment and get creative—tell a story, show off an outfit, or just splice, dice and change the look of your regular photos to convey a mood or theme.
     
    The app also has three handy buttons at the bottom to replace an image, mirror it or flip it upside down. The final product can be quite neat and impressive. It can be further enhanced by using Instagram’s native filters.
     
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    DocsApp: Consult Doctor Online 24x7 on Chat/Call
    DocsApp allows you to consult a doctor online 24x7. It is not meant for life-threatening emergencies, but you could consult a specialist from the comfort of your home. 
     
    Considering that more than 70% of health problems can be treated online through chat or call consultation, this is a real boon for patients. DocsApp is one of the better medical apps to consult a doctor online without booking an appointment. 
     
    Doctors on the app are specialist MDs. Ask a doctor your health question and get medical answers from doctors in 30 minutes. Doctors use a secure and private channel to answer your health queries. 
     
    As many as 3,000+ specialist doctors have already given answers, consultations and health tips to more than 5 million people. Payments are to be made online, before consultation starts.
     
    The specialities offered, include gynaecology, dermatology, hair-/scalp-care, psychiatry, general medicine (fever, cough, cold, infections, digestion problems, etc), paediatrics, weight management, pregnancy-related problems, etc.
     
     
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    We are listening!

    Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
      Loading...
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email

    BUY NOW

    online financial advisory
    Pathbreakers
    Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
    online financia advisory
    The Scam
    24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
    Moneylife Online Magazine
    Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
    financial magazines online
    Stockletters in 3 Flavours
    Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
    financial magazines in india
    MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
    (Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)