Avast researchers detect seven stalkware apps on Google Play Store

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Mumbai: Avast researchers have detected seven apps on the Google Play Store that were all likely designed by a Russian developer to allow people to stalk employees, romantic partners, or kids.

A day after Avast researchers detected and reported these four stalkwear apps to Google, its researcher further found three more apps – namely “Spy Tracker”, “Employee Work Spy” and “SMS Tracker,” which were also reported to Google.

Later, Google removed all these seven apps from its Play Store. All together, these apps have been installed more than 130,000 times, with the most installed apps being “Spy Tracker” and “SMS Tracker,” both with over 50,000 installs.

These apps all require the snoop to have access to the phone they want to spy on. The snoop needs to download it from the Google Play Store and install it on the target device.

The app then prompts the person who installed the app to enter their email address and following this a password for the spying app will be sent there.

These apps are able to track the surveilled person’s location, collect their contacts, SMS and call history. If the phone is rooted it also allows the spy to collect the victim’s WhatsApp and Viber messages.

These apps were published under the following names:
Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free
Spy Kids Tracker
Phone Cell Tracker
Mobile Tracking
Spy Tracker
SMS Tracker
Employee Work Spy

Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast’s Head of Mobile Threat Intelligence and Security, had identified these seven apps using Avast’s mobile threat detection platform apklab.io

“These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store, as they promote criminal behavior, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. Some of these apps are offered as parental control apps, but their descriptions draw a different picture, telling users the app allows them to ‘keep an eye on cheaters’. We classify such apps as stalkerware, and using apklab.io we can identify such apps quickly, and collaborate with Google to get them removed,” commented Chrysaidos.

You will find a description of three of the apps from the Google Play Store, below.
SMS Tracker – Apps on Google Play
Employee Monitor – SMS tracker In business work time is important, time is money. Our app will help you monitor work time of your employees to save time and save money. Notify the users of work phones that you are going to install the app. It will teach your employees to use their time at work wisely, to reduce time spent on messengers and arrive to work in time. Work time saving features: • set geofences • view time when employees arrive to work • see time when they leave work • check tracks during business hours • check work phone calls history • view text messages and calls • sms tracker • work cell phone tracker • collect work contact lists in one account
Spy Tracker – Apps on Google Play
Our apk is best suitable to spy on your kids. It has a lot of great features that secure your little family members. Find out more about your child’s life, interests, friends and plans. Parents are responsible for every step that their kids make. So this app is created to monitor them and protect them from dangers that can be revealed via cell phone. It is better to talk to children, but if you are not a good listener Features: – find location in real time – see movements history on the map – view places which the phone owner visited – check on people what they type in text messages – read incoming texts, get messages, get messages – get calls history (incoming and outgoing) – good program to view battery status – keep an eye on cheaters How to use: – Ask for permission of phone owner / notify the phone owner; – Download the app on the target phone; – Install the app; – Enjoy safe life!
Employee Work Spy – Apps on Google Play
Finding a skilled employee is only half a task. The biggest challenge is to keep him faithful to the company and its mission. A lot of employees may be just skipping work during work hours. People usually spy on kids, but employees need a strict control too. Employee Work Tracker program lets you avoid dangerous for your business situations. Prevent – espionage My own business was badly damaged when one of my employees was selling company’s information, innovative ideas and intellectual property to a third party company. I found out about it only when I installed the app on employees work phones and saw the discussions. – waste of time/money by employees Business trips are a responsible task. They cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. But not all employees take them responsibly. They may be sitting in a cafe instead of attending an important seminar. Use our program to eye and prevent it.

Opportunities with the app: – protect your reputation and intellectual property – see eye business communications, read texts, get messages and chats – locate employees work phone to see where they are at business hours, track people – current cheaters place locator tracker – get call log tracker and cell tracker listener to catch a cheater employee – anti-theft: find lost phone, find stolen phone – get messages, get calls being anywhere in the world, even abroad – monitor contact lists and collect all business contacts in one place – unlimited online borders to mark important areas for your business – get notification when people cross geofence border. Use apk legally. Notify work phone users about the apk installation.

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