FBI Arrests Mobile Spyware Vendor

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a man who is 31 years of age for allegedly selling spyware online by the name of StealthGenie.

The U.S. law enforcement agency announced on Monday that an indictment was received against Hammad Akbar in Virginia for running InvoCode. The company sells the spyware on the Internet.

The app StealthGenie can monitor texts, calls, videos as well as other forms of communications on mobile handsets without being detected or without the consent of the user.

According to the FBI, the StealthGenie app can record incoming and outgoing calls; intercept certain calls to monitor in real time; activate mobile handset and monitor all conversations in a radius of 15 feet; monitor SMS messages, email, voice mail, additions to the address book and the calendar on a smartphone, its videos and photographs.

After just a few minutes of physically installing StealthGenie on the mobile device, communications are able to be synchronized so that intercepted communications are able to be reviewed separately online.

The FBI alleges that Akbar conspired to advertise as well as sell the spyware app online. The arrest of Akbar is the first-ever criminal case that concerns the advertising as well as sale of a spyware app for mobile devices.

The FBI says that most of advertising for the StealthGenie focused on the monitoring and catching in the act cheating partners and spouses.

The federal indictment says Akbar, who is from Lahore, Pakistan, is the CEO at InvoCode and he allegedly is the creator of the spyware, which for most was undetectable and advertises as untraceable.

The charges Akbar is facing include conspiracy, advertising of a known interception device, sale of surreptitious interception device and advertising an app as a device for surreptitious interception.

A judge in Virginia issued a restraining order that temporarily disabled the website that was hosting the spyware.

 

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