The scourge of so-called “stalkerware” has accelerated as mobile cyberattacks in general have become more common, and it’s something that’s being addressed through a security industry collaboration that launched this week. The term “stalkerware” refers to both surreptitious spyware available on the Dark Web as well as more legitimate applications offered for sale through normal channels. The two have one thing in common: They allow someone to track users’ whereabouts and activities – without the knowledge of the user. Nefarious use can lead to harassment, surveillance without consent, stalking and even domestic violence. While some of these applications are offered for legitimate purposes – i.e., keeping track of your kids, or tracking employees for telemetry information – the concern is that they can be abused. That concern was behind the FTC’s recent ban of three apps from Retina-X Studios, which the agency said were “uniquely suited to illegal and dangerous uses. Under these circumstances, we will seek to hold app developers accountable for designing and marketing a dangerous product.” In a similar vein, just this week the Ghosty app was removed from the Google Play and Apple’s App Store. In return for sharing one’s Instagram credentials, the app will let you see the private profiles of its other users. Some called the app a “stalker paradise.” Its official description was, “You can view all the profiles you want to view including hidden profiles on Instagram. You can…
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