What is Stalkerware and how does it affect your Android Phone?

The tech world recently saw a small insurgence of stalkerware on smartphones however, it’s not completely clear what “stalkerware” is and why Android is a primary target.

What Is Stalkerware?

Stalkerware is a kind of malware that records data being entered into a device and sends it to a third party that’s supplied to the program upon installation. Stalkerware acts without the victim knowing that it’s harvesting their information therefore, it’s a serious breach of privacy and regarded as an unwanted program.

Stalkerware can track different kinds of information however the design of each stalkerware changes depending on what information it has been designed to track. A good example of this would be that some are designed to monitor the victim’s SMS messages whilst others are designed to beam onto the target’s location back home.

Difference between Stalkerware and Spyware?

This may all sound very familiar for those who are apt with Malware. Stalkerware sounds a lot like spyware, a term which includes programs such as keyloggers and clipper malware.

What makes stalkerware any different to spyware?

The main difference is that spyware sneaks onto systems under the guise of a legitimate program and sends the data to an unknown malicious agent whereas Stalkerware openly advertises its features to potential customers and sends the data to an email address provided by the user.

As you may have guessed, stalkerware is not meant to be installed on the user’s system; they’ll just be logging themselves! Instead, the user installs it on someone else’s device that they want to track. This is the main difference between spyware and stalkerware; spyware is downloaded by accident whereas stalkerware is deliberately installed on devices the user wants to track.

List of Known Stalkerware android apps

Recently Google has recognised and taken down a few stalkerware apps which are listed below:

  • Spy Kids Tracker
  • Phone Cell Tracker
  • Mobile Tracking
  • Spy Tracker
  • SMS Tracker
  • Employee Work Spy

Protecting Your Phone from Stalkerware:

Stalkerware is a serious problem which can cause huge privacy breaches for its victims. While there is no certain way to tell that Stalkerware is installed on your system, it is easy to remove any traces and prevent reinfection.

By installing good antivirus software on your mobile, you can protect your mobile from Stalkerware apps.

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