New Age of Spyware Smartphone Applications


In the age where loyalty is very questionable among many couples, there is an array of smartphone applications these days that allow the users to secretly monitor the activities of a phone. While this is disturbing in general, it is also illegal, in the United States under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In the United States and various European Countries such as Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, and Switzerland, there have been raids and arrests of users of some of these applications.

These applications are remote access Trojans (RATs) by definition, that are targeted at phones. One such application is DroidJack, can access any data or function on an infected Android, even encrypted chats and their encryption keys if you have them.

These applications are marketed for different reasons and have different levels of surveillance on the target phones. Not all of them are as invasive but instead just track location of the phone. Marketed for different reasons, like watching out for your children or elderly parents, these applications can still be treated like invasive malware and walk a thin line when it comes to whether or not their uses are computer security breaches or valid uses. The CEO of StealthGenie was fined $500,000 in 2014 for advertising the company’s mobile RAT as a means of tracking your spouse. DroidJack has been packaged with other apps to disguise it as a mobile security.

At the end of the day, I believe that this goes to show how we live in a time where computer security is always at risk, and the individuals who are threatening it don’t have to be educated in any sort of computing. They have all sorts of tools to their expense and all it takes is a simple download, maybe even a google search, and people can do damage. And with its ease and accessibility people are more likely to break the law and breach security without thinking twice about it.

-Daniel Jones