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‘Spy’ apps appear on the Play Store and are downloaded more than 130,000 times

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Seven “spy” apps were discovered on the Google Play Store and reported to Google. The apps were developed with the aim of receiving information about all activities carried out on the victims’ devices, which could be spouses, children or employees of a company. The discovery was made by Avast mobile threat researchers. After the reports, the programs were removed from the Google store.

According to the Avast report, more than 130,000 people installed the applications, which would have been designed by a Russian developer. To gain access to the information, it was necessary for the spy to install the programs on the victims’ devices. After that, he would receive information such as WhatsApp and Viber messages from the person being watched, contact list, SMS, call history, as well as tracking the location of the victims.

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1 of 1 Spy apps have been removed from the Google Play Store – Photo: Reproduction / Rodrigo Fernandes

Spy apps have been removed from the Google Play Store – Photo: Reproduction / Rodrigo Fernandes

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The list below shows the names of the seven spy apps removed from the Play Store.

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

In the Google store, the applications displayed descriptions that promised to monitor employees’ work to prevent lost income, or to control children’s access to protect them from the dangers of the Internet, for example.

According to Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast’s Head of Mobile Intelligence and Security Threats, these apps have been categorized as stalkerwaresbecause they invade people’s privacy.

“These apps are highly unethical and should not be on the Google Play Store, as they promote criminal behavior and can be abusive by employers, stalkers or partners to spy on their victims. Some of these apps are offered as parental control apps, but their descriptions show a different image, telling users that the app allows them to ‘keep an eye on cheaters’, ”explained Nikolaos.

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