Google Pulls Seven Stalking Apps From the Play Store

Posted on July 18, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Android with 10 Comments

Google’s Play Store has millions of apps. Most of these apps are good, but some of them are really evil and sometimes void the Play Store’s guidelines.

Anti-virus company Avast recently found such apps on the Play Store, and it’s all pretty crazy. The seven apps, all of which are believed to be built by a Russian developer, allows people to spy on others. You can track things like their location, their calling history, their contacts, as well as their messages. The apps require you to have access to the phone of the person you are trying to spy on and once installed, it’s pretty hard to tell that these apps are actually installed as there is no app icon.

So if someone manages to get access to your phone without your knowledge, they can install the app without you having any clue, and spy on you.  The app descriptions position them as spying apps for employees and kids, as well as romantic partners, of course. And that’s obviously very creepy.

Google removed all the 7 apps after Avast reported the apps to the company, but it is very crazy that these apps even made it to the Play Store in the first place. And what’s even crazier is the fact that these apps are actually kind of popular — in fact, they have a combined installed count of 130,000. Google has been implementing a lot of systems to detect such evil apps, with things like Google Play Protect, but the fact that they still made it through to the Play Store and people could still be actively using them to spy on others without their knowledge is simply unacceptable.

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