Malware, Endpoint/Device Security, Threat Intelligence

Operations of sanctioned stalkerware apps cease

TechCrunch reports that mobile consumer-grade stalkerware apps Highster and PhoneSpector have seemingly ended operations following a settlement between Patrick Hinchy, whose tech firm consortium was behind both apps, and the New York Attorney General last February that involved the payment of $410,000 in fines to resolve charges of aggressive spyware promotions in New York state. While the tech firms behind the Highster and PhoneSpector were asked to properly notify individuals whose devices are being monitored, both stalkerware apps have disappeared from the web, including their servers, domains, and back-end infrastructure. Phone numbers connected to both apps were also noted to have been disconnected. Further investigation by TechCrunch revealed that the companies' office space is being used by a construction company while New York- and Florida-based companies registered by Hinchy have been lagging behind state-required paperwork even though most of them continue to be active. The New York Attorney General's Office has not provided a direct answer on whether Hinchy's companies fulfilled the settlement.

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