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60,000 phones infected by Android Stalkerware app – is yours compromised? Know how to remove

Beware of Spyhide Stalkerware! Over 60,000 Android devices have been infected and it is secretly stealing private data. Know how to detect and remove this threat.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: Jul 26 2023, 12:57 IST
Android Stalkerware Spyhide has targetted 60,000 phones worldwide. (Bloomberg)
Android Stalkerware Spyhide has targetted 60,000 phones worldwide. (Bloomberg)

Tens of thousands of Android phones have fallen victim to a dangerous stalkerware app that covertly harvests private data. Known as Spyhide, this malicious software has managed to infiltrate 60,000 Android devices since 2016, according to a TechCrunch report. Unlike regular hacking apps that send stolen data to cybercriminals, stalkerware like Spyhide gathers sensitive information and transmits it back to individuals who seek to monitor their victims.

Alarming discovery

The real danger lies in the stalkerware's ability to remain concealed on compromised phones, making detection and removal challenging. Once installed, Spyhide discreetly collects and uploads various private details, including contacts, messages, photos, call logs, recordings, and real-time location.

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Recently, a Swiss-based hacker named Maia Arson Crimew discovered a vulnerability in Spyhide's dashboard, gaining access to the stalkerware's back-end database. The exposed information shed light on the scope of the attack. The compromised data of 60,000 Android devices includes call logs, text messages, and years of location history.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Moreover, TechCrunch's analysis indicates that Spyhide operates globally, with 3,100 affected devices in the U.S., having over 100,000 location data points. Furthermore, the stalkerware's database includes details of 750,000 users who signed up to use Spyhide, likely with the intent to install it on someone else's smartphone. The vast collection of personal data from victims encompasses 3.29 million text messages, 2FA codes, password reset links, 1.2 million call logs, 312,000 call recording files, 925,000+ contact lists, and 382,000 photos and images.

How to detect and remove Stalkerware from your phone?

To ensure your phone is not affected, it is crucial to knowhow to detect and remove stalkerware. These apps often disguise themselves as regular apps on your phone, making them hard to spot. Spyhide, for instance, masquerades as a Google-themed app named "Google Settings" or a ringtone app called "T.Ringtone." To protect yourself, check your installed apps in the Settings menu for anything suspicious and remove any that seem out of place.

Strengthening your device's security

For enhanced security against stalkerware like Spyhide, consider using one of the best Android antivirus apps, which scan for malicious software on your device. Additionally, Google Play Protect can help by scanning existing and new app downloads for potential threats.

Unfortunately, stalkerware remains a significant concern on both Android and iOS platforms, as some individuals seek an easy way to monitor others. To safeguard your phone, avoid leaving it unattended and use secure biometrics like fingerprints instead of easily guessable passwords or PINs.

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First Published Date: 26 Jul, 11:55 IST

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