By akademiotoelektronik, 30/03/2023

Spy apps: a worrying trend

More and more people are spying on the smartphones of their loved ones, a worrying trend that does not bode well.

No, we are not in an episode of Black Mirror, or even in a work of futuristic science fiction. Spying on a loved one's smartphone is about to become more and more common. Which is far from good news.

At least that's what Kaspersky, a company specializing in information systems security, tells us. According to the data it transmits, nearly 37,000 of its users would have detected a cookie in their phone between January and August 2019, an increase of 35% compared to 2018.

Spy applications increasingly easy to access

It is in Russia, India, Brazil and the United States that we find the most users who are victims of these unwanted household intrusions. France is far behind in this ranking. Figures probably justified by the base of Kaspersky customers, very popular in Eastern Europe, a little less in France.

These famous applications are called "stalkerware", i.e. software to track down, to harass, in French. Among the most popular are Mobile Tracker, Cerberus or TheTruthSpy. They make it possible to control the location of the spied device, to access the browser history, SMS, conversations on social networks, but also to make video or audio recordings, remotely.

Spy apps: a trend

These stalkerware are more common than pirated software. That is to say that there is more chance that you will be the victim of a loved one than of a hacker who knows you neither from Eve nor from Adam. A practice that is absolutely illegal, with the exception of certain very specific cases: parental control of your children. Indeed, spying on a spouse, a friend, a member of his family is prohibited by law.

Stalkerware is a real tool of oppression

Stalkerware also has another name: spouseware. "Spouse", in English, meaning husband or wife. So it goes without saying that the main use of this rogue application is against spouses. A tool that would be particularly used in contexts of domestic violence.

According to data analyzed by the Center Hubertine Auclert, an Ile-de-France center for gender equality, "9 out of 10 women victims of domestic violence report having suffered cyberviolence from their partner or ex." Stalkerware, or spouseware, then allows violent spouses to "surveil, control and humiliate [their] victims". Particularly worrying figures, which, when we cross them, indicate a sharp increase in this sad trend.

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Sources: 01net, Kaspersky, Center Hubertine Auclert Clément Capot RédacteurShare this article!

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