Spyware

Applications that Seem Benign Secretly Spy on Users

More than 4,000 apps, some of which were sold on GooglePlay’s market, have been found to spy on users and allow remote control of their systems. Soniac, for example, surreptitiously records audio, makes calls, sends text messages, and retrieves contacts and wi-fi access points, among other functions. It, along with Hulk Messenger and Troy Chat, have since been removed from GooglePlay. Those apps and other spyware may still be distributed through other market channels. Once the programs are installed, a remote operator can issue a wide range of commands to the compromised device. —TV

Photo: iStock.com / a_Taiga

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