Stalkerware anyone? On the occasion of the premiere of the series "You" on Netflix. Several confirmed cases in Greece as well.
The second season of the popular Netflix series "You" premieres on December 26 . The plot: The bookseller Joe Goldberg develops an obsession with Guinevere Beck's client, and watches her life in every possible way. What would be a nightmare in real life made the hearts of many women beat faster in the first season .
However, stalking is a serious problem that is spreading more and more digitally. The so-called stalkerware programs - spyware installed secretly on the victim's smartphone - allow third parties to invade their privacy. Stalkerware can be officially purchased and its use is growing rapidly: according to Kaspersky analysis, from January to August 2019 there was an increase of 12% in attempts at stalkerware installations in Greece compared to 2018.
Global sizes are extremely worrying. From January to August 2019, more than 518.223 cases were detected where Kaspersky protection technologies recorded the presence of stalkerware on users' devices or detected attempts to install it - an increase of 373% compared to the same period in 2018.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky, comments on the rising risk:
Stalkerware is more widespread than one might think. He runs in the background without the affected person noticing anything. Once successfully installed, the perpetrator may have access to news, photos, social media, geolocation data, and recordings or camera data — in some cases even in real time. What the TV series conveys to us is a serious problem in real life and a real threat to many women, but also to men. For this reason, we have recently started collaborations with numerous partners in the "Alliance Against Stalkerware" to draw attention to the dangers of stalkerware and help its victims.
Alliance Against Stalkerware
In addition to Kaspersky, Avira, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the European Network for Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, G DATA CyberDefense, Malwarebytes, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, NortonLifeLock, Operation Safe Escape and WEISSER RING - participate in the global initiative "Coalition Against StalkerwareTo protect users from tracking software. This new, globally active team will focus on victim support and cyber security to provide the best possible assistance to users affected by stalkerware.
Kaspersky: How to protect yourself from surveillance software
- Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in the smartphone setting. This can be done through the device settings.
- Do not share your smartphone password or password with third parties, even if they are trusted.
- Do not store unknown files or applications on your device, as this could compromise your privacy.
- Change all security settings on all devices as soon as a relationship is complete. Ex-partners may try to steal personal information to manipulate you.
- Check all applications used on the device to see if any suspicious programs have been installed without your permission.
- Use a trusted security solution that alerts users immediately when trying to install spyware.
- Those who have been the victim of skalking or seeking help in this context should contact the relevant organizations for professional support.