Did you know the apps that are found right in the trusted Apple App Store and Google Play are putting the everyday consumer at higher risk for privacy violation than they likely realize? Apps that leak your personal info can, of course, compromise an individual’s privacy. This poses a threat to an individual as a whole, their personal contacts and any company or financial institution they are associated with. As per the latest survey, the scary fact is that nearly 30% of all those free mobile apps that smartphone users loves actually captures and sell their contacts, text messages, web browsing histories and photos. App developers earn money by two ways, namely, charging for their app or selling your sensitive data.
With little thought to the consequences, smartphone users casually give sweeping permissions to mobile apps to upload and use private information stored on their devices. What they do not understand is that once uploaded, personal data is frequently sold to advertisers around the world. That data, in turn, can be easily stolen or purchased by cyber criminals, hackers, hostile governments, and aggressive advertising networks to mount highly targeted phishing and social media attacks. The stolen, or more accurately ‘gifted,’ personal information poses a threat to the users themselves, their personal contacts, their employers and any companies or banks with which they do business.
The same has been done by the Pakistan’s snooping agency ISI which is spying on Indian security forces using malware through mobile gaming and music applications such as Top Gun, mpjunkie, VD junky and talking frog. The Indian government informed that the Pakistan’s spy agency is also making efforts to trap ex-servicemen in the garb of providing job opportunities and financial aid for spying. The Indian security forces have been sensitised about Pakistan’s ISI using dubious applications on smartphones.
Responding to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said seven ex-servicemen were arrested/detected for espionage activities for the ISI during the period 2013-16. Government on its part has issued the circular featuring the Computer Security Policy and Guidelines to all the ministries/departments on taking steps to prevent, detect and mitigate cyber attacks which includes sanitization of staff and officers, installations of CCTV and biometric for electronic surveillance with well-defined crisis management plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism for implementation.