Noted anti-virus and security firm Avast said they have come across at least seven spying apps in the Google Play Store which they have promptly brought to the notice of Google, which in turn also did a nice job by removing those from the Play Store quickly enough.
Avast said they first came across four apps which can be used to stalk others on Tuesday, and reported the matter to Google the very same day. The security company came across another three such apps the next day, on Wednesday which were also brought to the notice of Google.
Avast revealed all seven apps were of Russian origin and can be used for stalking just about anyone, be its kids, erring partners, employees and so on. Worse, the target individuals have no idea of them being stalked, which made the apps huge security and privacy risk.
The apps would also come with detailed instructions on ways to install the app on the target individual’s phone. In compliance with its intended role, there would be no visual trace of the apps on the phone as all app icons would get deleted.
As for the info, the apps would leak, those included the call log, location history, messages received or sent, or the contact list. Clearly, those posed a huge threat for the affected individuals who would have absolutely no idea of them being stalked.
Also, so far it’s only Android apps that have been found and it is not known if there are iOS versions of the same as well. Also not known if there are more such apps already in the Play Store. Avast said the malicious apps have already gone for 130,000 downloads so far.
Meanwhile, credit for the discovery of the spying apps goes to Nikolaos Chrysaidos, the head of the mobile threat intelligence and security division within Avast.