Spyware Apps: Contemporary Realities
A huge realm of spyware apps is surrounding the unthinking citizens of any country now. You may also face a number of online dangers at every step you make in the Web, and not even know how lucky you are to have escaped some troubles. Unfortunately, spyware development is on the rise and numerous criminals use such malware for approaching personal and financial data, to steal funds and identities of users, and to cause many more catastrophes of personal or larger national scale.
What do we know about spyware in general? Trackers like https://www.mspy.com/, for instance, are not harmful at all, and are mostly used for parental control or security checks, so they cannot be regarded as spyware. In which ways is real malicious software dangerous? Which latest threats are worth learning about to secure your data and privacy? Here is a short catch-up of the latest news from the world of malicious spy programs, giving you an update on what’s happening in the world.
Iranian Telegram Users Have Become Spyware Victims
In the summer of 2017, numerous announcements of newly detected malware came from the MENA region and numerous Arab states. The scandal with Chrystened Chrysaor is still booming while the Iranian users of Telegram faced a new problem with malicious software. The first Android Trojan was identified in the country; it was found to use the Telegram’s message-exchange protocol. Though the Telegram messenger is world-famous for its rigorous safety protection and inability to apply Telegram Bot APIs, this spyware app still found its ways into the smartphones of Iranians. As a result, massive abuses of personal privacy were detected, with this app managing to extract huge loads of personal data about users to a remote server. Such unpromising news compromise the quality of Telegram’s protection and suggest that more personal measures should be taken by individuals to secure their gadgets from hacking and personal data thefts.
Verizon’s AppFlash Appeared to be Spyware
Another ethically challenging measure of a telecom giant to collect individual user data became public this spring; the news related to Verizon’s use of a spyware app called AppFlash for spying on its users and sensitive personal data collection. While the righteous purpose of this measure is understood – the company wishes to tailor its products to individual users’ needs and demands – the way of finding those customized solutions is definitely selected wrongly. Looking like the Google search bar replacement, AppFlash sends all metrics of your online activity not to Google, but directly to Verizon, which is totally illegal. Moreover, it is quite alarming to realize that the app, even after being detected, is not so easy to uninstall – the option is available only for users with rooted phones. Thus, the degree of corporate abuse over personal privacy is indeed troubling – and the case is likely to affect Verizon’s reputation adversely.
Newly Detected Spyware Apps on Android Play Store
Luckily, there are some security watchdogs that keep track of the corporate and criminal tracking activities online and try to detect new spyware before it causes large-scale harm to users. One of such watchdogs is Google – the company with a firm, rigorous policy of customer protection that undertakes regular app assessments. Google’s security defense program Google Play Protect has shared one of its latest findings – the Lipizzan spyware – in two dozen of apps currently available in the Google Play store for download.
The danger of Lipizzan is its two-stage intrusion strategy that allows the malware to creep into your Android device and bypass all security measures to take a grasp of your personal data. Under the guise of some innocent app providing app cleaning or backup, Lipizzan gets installed on the users’ devices and after this stage is completed, it proceeds to license verification – a scan of the device’s security measures guaranteeing the non-detectability of the spyware. If the check passes successfully, the infected smartphone is rooted with particular Android exploits to give hackers remove access to all data stored on the device. Google deemed the app as too dangerous because of its conspicuous, sophisticated method of device’s infection, and removed all affected apps from the Google Play store. However, keep your eyes open for downloading new apps from Google Play – Lipizzan may be already there.
Beware Spyware VPN Apps
With the recent wave of bans over file-sharing sites in the USA and other countries, users have increasingly opted to install Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) on their devices to evade the ban and regain access to desired content. However, besides the legal danger of involving into such unauthorized data access, many of them have fallen prey to VPN programs containing viruses. This finding largely related to Android apps, but the danger of VPN use is still real for all devices – maybe iPhones have not yet been thoroughly checked ?
As you can see, dangers are expecting Web users on every step, and the key to staying safe and secure is to possess basic digital literacy. Learn more about contemporary spyware and the ways in which it creeps into users’ devices to protect your own safety and keep your private data really private.