NY attorney general forces spyware vendor to alert victims


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Aug 17, 2017
The New York attorney general's office has announced a $410,000 fine for a stalkerware developer who used 16 companies to promote surveillance tools illegally. Stalkerware (or spyware) platforms allow their customers to monitor other people's phones without the users' knowledge. In some, if not most cases, they're also used to monitor the targets' online activity and collect sensitive user information like their location that later could be used for blackmail or various other malicious purposes. Patrick Hinchy, the spyware vendor, also agreed to alert his customers' victims that their phones are being secretly monitored using one of his multiple apps, including Auto Forward, Easy Spy, DDI Utilities, Highster Mobile, PhoneSpector, Surepoint, or TurboSpy. These surveillance apps enabled Hinchy's customers to secretly monitor what other individuals were doing on their mobile devices, including location, browsing history, call logs, text messages, photos and videos, email activity, WhatsApp and Skype chats, and social media activity. Some of the stalkerware apps "also enabled a user to remotely activate the camera or microphone of the Target Device to enable spying or eavesdropping on the owner of the device," according to the agreement.

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