Stalkerware: So easily someone can “trap” our smartphone

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‎Large increase‎‎ show attempts to install ‎‎ ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎, ie software through which someone ‎‎monitors‎‎ ‎‎messages‎‎, ‎‎photos‎‎, ‎‎social media‎‎ , ‎‎GPS‎‎, ‎‎recordings‎‎ or ‎‎cameras‎‎ on the victim’s smartphone, in some cases even in real time.‎

‎Over 37,000 such attempts were recorded from January to august 2019‎‎, a figure corresponding to ‎‎an increase of 35% compared to the figures for the same period of 2018‎‎.‎

‎The ‎‎122 of these were found in Greece‎‎, a size seemingly small but extremely important (since certainly many have not been detected and so monitoring is still active).‎

‎In addition, the threat landscape for ‎‎ ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ ‎‎ has widened, as ‎‎Kaspersky has discovered 380 variants of ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ free on the internet in 2019; 31% more compared to last year‎‎. These are the most important ‎‎findings of the Kaspersky report ‎‎”The State of Stalkerware in 2019″‎‎.‎

‎Unlike legitimate parental control applications, ‎‎ ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ ‎‎ runs ‎‎hidden in the background‎‎, without the knowledge or consent of the victim. They are often promoted as spy software for ‎‎sexual partners‎‎.‎

‎In the ‎‎first eight months of 2019, 37,532 unique users were confronted with at least one attempt to penetrate‎ “Stalkerware”‎‎ into their device‎‎. By comparison, the ‎‎2018 picture was 27,798 unique users‎‎.‎

‎While these numbers may look small compared to figures for other types of malware (for example, only 9% of users who were attacked by financial threats detected in the first half of 2019 ), it is important to keep in mind that, unlike most consumer-targeted threats,‎‎ ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ ‎‎ is commonly used for ‎‎specially targeted victims‎‎.‎

‎‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ ‎‎often needs to be ‎‎installed manually on‎‎ the victim’s phone, so the perpetrator needs physical access to the device.‎

‎In addition, there are several variants of‎‎ ‎‎”Stalkerware”‎‎ available on the market. In the ‎‎first eight months of 2018, Kaspersky’s detection technologies identified 290 potentially dangerous variations, while in 2019 this number has risen by nearly a third to reach 380‎‎.‎
Source: SofokleousIn
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