Hammad Akbar, CEO of InvoCode was arrested this past Saturday and is now facing federal charges including “conspiracy, sale of a surreptitious interception device, advertisement of a known interception device, and advertising a device as a surreptitious interception device.” The arrest of the 31 year-old Pakistani is said to be the first ever case of advertising to sell mobile spyware targeting adults. The app in question, known as StealthGenie, was openly advertised as the video shows.
“Selling spyware is not just reprehensible, it’s a crime,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement. “Apps like StealthGenie are expressly designed for use by stalkers and domestic abusers who want to know every detail of a victim’s personal life—all without the victim’s knowledge.”
The government said that Akbar produced and app that works on IPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. The spyware was hosted on servers run by Amazon Web Services in Ashburn, Virginia, according to the government. “The indictment alleges that StealthGenie’s capabilities included the following: it recorded all incoming/outgoing voice calls; it intercepted calls on the phone to be monitored while they take place; it allowed the purchaser to call the phone and activate it at any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius; and it allowed the purchaser to monitor the user’s incoming and outgoing e-mail messages and SMS messages, incoming voicemail messages, address book, calendar, photographs, and videos. All of these functions were enabled without the knowledge of the user of the phone.”
The StealthGenie app monitors calls, texts, videos, and other communications on mobile phones “without detection,” federal prosecutors said. They added that the communications could be monitored in real time.
It makes one wonder what Akbar was thinking, when he decided to advertise StealthGenie publicly.
Source: Ars Technica