A Pakistani man was indicted in Virginia for allegedly conspiring to advertise and sell a spyware app that secretly monitored cell phone communications.
Hammad Akbar, 31, created the app StealthGenie, which detected communications from a user's phone without being detected or traced, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) release. The app could, among other features, record all voice calls, intercept live calls, overhear any conversation within a 15-foot radius of the phone, and monitor emails, texts, and voicemails.
The purchaser of the app could sync up with it to review the phone's information from any computer, and only needed a few minutes with a phone to install the app. From then on, no further physical access was required.
This is the first-ever criminal case involving the advertisement and sale of a mobile device spyware app.