What is Stalkerware?

Check your pockets!  More than likely, you will find a piece of technology that connects you to everyone else in this world.  Nowadays everyone owns a smartphone.  However, with the ability to have any information at your fingertips comes the ability to spy on you and track you down.  Attackers use more and more forms of stalkerware to surveil someone at anytime.

 

What is Stalkerware?

A form of malware, known as stalkerware (or spouseware and creepware), consist of tools, apps, programs, or software installed mostly on smartphones.  Stalkerware allows an attacker to surveil and monitor phone behavior of their victim without the victim’s consent.  The stalkerware installed then allows the attacker to stalk the victim and aid in violence, abuse, harassment, and spying.  Additionally, attackers install stalkerware with physical access to unlock the victim’s phone.  This is why most stalkerware attacker’s victims are their spouse or partner.

 

What does it do?

When installed on a rooted android or jailbroken iPhone, stalkerware gives many permissions to the attacker.  The attacker has the ability to turn on the camera and microphone, take screenshots, view app and phone activity, intercept and make phone calls.  It even enables the location tracking of the phone.  Even more frightening, with the ability to monitor phone activity, the attacker can steal account credentials.  This means that on top of being a stalking victim, things such as bank accounts and social media are also vulnerable.

 

Staying Protected

Attackers install their software without the victim’s awareness.  Therefore, the malware can go sometime without being detected.  To know if there is stalkerware or any sort of malware on your device, you should be aware of any sudden negative changes in device performance.  For instance, the battery might drain much faster or you notice suspicious behavior on your device since the attacker has direct access.

If you suspect that you are a victim of stalkerware, be sure to run antivirus or anti-malware software to detect any malicious programs.  Do not be afraid to contact the police and law enforcement for help if you feel someone stalks you.

Lastly, it is very important to stay protected and ensure that you do not become a victim in the first place.  Be aware of who you allow on your device since attackers install stalkerware with physical access.  You should keep a password on your device and your phone locked when you are not in use of it.  Like any device, keep your phone updated and all the security features enabled.  Finally, without a rooted or jailbroken phone, stalkerware can not utilize any of your device’s features.  The team at Cyber Protection Group hopes to help you stay secure and safe!