Today, technology is an important part of our lives. It helps us to improve different aspects such as communication, leisure or work. Using it correctly is a great tool, but it can also be dangerous if it is not used with a head or without care. The information we use on the mobile phone can be used to jeopardize our privacy. We register with our personal data, consult the bank account and keep all our conversations private. Therefore, the smartphone is a device with which you can spy on a user and easily find out very important information about him.
Stalkerware is one of these applications or tools that take advantage of the vulnerability of mobile phones to spy on people, a monitoring software. It is not a virus because it does not have the capacity to duplicate or expand, it is an application that has been installed and would rather fall into the category of spyware. Its objective is to extract information from the mobile phone, especially data such as location, although, depending on the tools it carries, it can spy on other types of activities that are done with the mobile phone.
It tries to remain hidden so as not to be detected, so it cannot do very intensive things such as recording the screen and sound all the time. That would take up memory and waste a lot of data and battery, maybe it registers the position from time to time. In some cases it can register the calls that have been made or the messages that have been sent or received. It never does anything as invasive as continuously recording everything, because it would be easily discoverable. Sometimes it collect information at night, when the phone is charging and is connected to Wi-Fi because if they constantly send data, they would spend the user’s megabytes and it would be discovered because it would exhaust the data contract.
But how can anyone have this software hidden in the phone? It’s a program that has to be installed somehow, so if someone leaves the mobile unattended and someone else has the PIN or can access the device, it could launch the installation of the software. It would be more sophisticated to install it remotely because we would have to exploit much more advanced vulnerabilities there, but there have also been cases.
At first glance, stalkerware is for spying on a person, so it is common for it to be used by detectives or for infidelity purposes. Even so, it seems to be a software too complex and requires some technical knowledge, so anyone could think that it is impossible to reach these limits. But the truth is that it is very simple. With the right instructions it’s not too difficult. Installing software on a mobile is very easy, the only thing you have to do is a few previous steps to switch to a repository of applications that is not the official one. After doing the installation, it is necessary to go back to the official repository so that the owner don’t notice it and that’s it. Therefore, one of the most effective methods to prevent our phone from having stalkerware installed is just to use an unlocking PIN.