Egypt spies on its citizens through the Google Play Store


All those who are living in an around the region of Egypt are hereby informed that those who have downloaded apps from Google Play Store or downloaded the application downloading platform to their mobile phones are being subjected to a state-funded espionage campaign.

The objective of this campaign is simple- to keep an eye on the mobile phone activities of lawyers, journos, politicians and high profile businessmen.

Researchers from Check Point Technologies have made this startling revelation today and said that some apps such as IndexY are still lurking on the Google Play Store- all with the permission of the Egyptian government and is being used to search for any telephone number from the database of more than 160 million Arabic numbers.

Although Google has removed it twice, the application still arrives after a 15 days removal period and has gained more than 5k installations every time.

Behind the screens, IndexY is a surveillance software that keeps a log file of missed calls, call log, date, and duration of calls and other sensitive details such as contacts and messages.

What’s more concerning about IndexY is that the application allows its developers to analyze and inspect the info by sending data to remote servers. So, the analysis doesn’t take place on the edge- i.e on the device.

Security researchers claim that there are also other apps such as iLoud( meant to increase volume on devices) which are being hosted on Google Play Store and have been downloaded over 336 million times. All these apps were developed to indulge in espionage campaigns launched by the government of Egypt in association with Google.

As the spying campaign is being supported by the web search giant, the apps were able to dodge Google Protections with ease.

Note- This state-funded espionage campaign was already documented by Amnesty International in March this year.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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