Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How Domestic Abusers Use Smartphones to Spy on Their Partners

There’s more creepy spyware out there than you think — and regulating it is a legal and technological challenge.

More and more people who commit violence against their intimate partners are using technology to make their victims’ lives worse...

News media, academic researchers, and victim advocates have long acknowledged the threat of spyware in domestic abuse situations. But our research (conducted with our students) brings to light the ease with which spyware can be deployed by abusers, and the broad scope of software usable as spyware...

Installing powerful spyware is just a few clicks away. Search on the web for “track my girlfriend” and you’ll find plentiful links to software, how-to guides, and forums all aimed at making it easy for abusers to spy on victims. (Protection advice is also available.) All the tools an abuser needs are present on Google and Apple’s app stores; installation is as simple as grabbing the victim’s device, typing the password (possibly stolen), and downloading an app. Many such apps require a fee, but in some cases, you can spy free of charge.

And our research shows that current anti-malware programs most often don’t identify such software as problematic. (ours does) more

Click the "our research" link above for the research paper. ~Kevin