Stalker apps for Android devices have sharply risen by 373 percent so far this year, constituting a steep pervasiveness in nuisanceware…
Stalkerware apps or mobile software used to spy on users’ messages, call information, and GPS locations, have increased by 373 percent during the first eight months of the year. This, in comparison to the same time-frame in 2018.
Android Stalkerware App Cases Increase by 373 Percent in 2019
The findings come from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, which discovered 37,532 users who encountered such apps at least once, a 35 percent leap year-over-year.
Russia, India, Brazil, and the US are the most prominent markets for Android stalker apps. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy, and the UK occupy the top three locations in Europe.
Both spyware and stalkerware are considered “nuisanceware.” For instance, spyware is malicious software which can covertly steal personal data. These programs record email, SMS messages, and even eavedrop on phone conversations. Whereas stalkerware is more generally used by private individuals to keep tabs on people close to them.
“These openly-sold consumer surveillance programs are often used for spying on colleagues, family members or partners, and are in great demand. For a relatively modest fee, sometimes as little as $7 per month, these apps stay hidden while keeping their operators informed about the device activity, such as its owner’s location, browser history, text messages, social media chats, and more. Some of them can even make video and voice recordings.”
In total, Kaspersky found more than 518,000 cases of stalkerware either on devices or attempts to install it.