Kaspersky Lab said today it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious, and warn people through its Android app when stalkerware is installed on their phones. In 2018 Kaspersky Lab detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices. From a report: Stalkerware is frequently used by stalkers and abusers to spy on people through their phones. It essentially turns victims’ phones into surveillance devices, letting an attacker track a person’s every step and listen in on every word. Stalkerware is quietly installed on people’s devices, and then accesses personal data including GPS location, text messages, photos and microphone feeds. You don’t have to be an expert to get your hands on it – stalkerware is sold online, for as little as a few hundred dollars. Some purveyors offer subscription plans for $68 a month, according to Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky Lab said it was motivated to start flagging stalkerware apps after speaking with Eva Galperin, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s head of cybersecurity. “As a result, we now flag commercial spyware with a specific alert which warns users of the dangers stalkerware poses,” Alexey Firsh, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement. “We believe users have a right to know if such a program is installed on their device.”