Threat Management

Spyware developer fined, ordered to notify impacted individuals

The New York Attorney General's Office has reached an agreement with spyware developer Patrick Hinchy, who illegally promoted mobile surveillance software like Highster and PhoneSpector through his 16 companies, with Hinchy ordered to pay $410,000 in fines, as well as inform people who had their mobile phones impacted by spyware within two months after their device is monitored, according to TechCrunch. Hinchy's apps were noted by the N.Y. AG to have enabled the concealed tracking of mobile phones, as well as access to device data, including emails and text messages, browsing history, photos, and precise location details. Aside from leveraging his various companies to aggressively promote the spyware apps, Hinchy also did not inform users that jailbreaking would be necessary for such apps to work. Spyware-related sanctions imposed by the N.Y. AG come two years after stalkerware developer SpyFone and parent firm Support King were banned by the Federal Trade Commission. However, Support King has since returned to the mobile surveillance scene under the SpyTrac operation.

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