DHS officials have told the AP that the agency detected unauthorized Stingray activity during a day sweep that started in January Tracking down the locations of Stingrays would be a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. Law enforcement is also suspected of dragging its feet as many departments and agencies rely on Stingrays to surveil suspects.
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Tech Tent - who’s spying on you?
You may unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time. As such, data pilfered from Exodus' snooping could end up being spied by other third-party devices, especially on a public network.here
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Essentially, the security-breaching malware has bad security itself; go figure. The malware has a two-stage approach to its malicious ways.
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First, it waits to be downloaded by an unsuspecting victim, and once that happens it harvests basic identifying information about the device it has infected, such as the IMEI code and phone number. After that, stage two gets cracking and all manner of nasty stuff could be, including a modified version of DirtyCow, which in that case attempts to jailbreak the infected device.
So in short, Exodus seems to be a pretty comprehensive bit of spyware. The government bit comes into play as Motherboard heard that eSurv had sold the spyware to the Italian government.
- It was-a allegedly used by-a de Italian, er, government.
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The use of government spyware is a pretty grey area ; a court order, for example, can grant police the authority to hack a person's phone. But in the case of Exodus, a borked function meant it was effectively snooping on people it shouldn't be. Exodus has a function called "CheckValidTarget", which we can assume is designed to ensure the infected device is one that's meant to be snooped on by law enforcement. Problem is, the investigation found that it failed to carry out those checks and would have meant the spyware digitally gawked at people it had no right to and was, therefore, acting illegally.
Italian prosecutors are now reportedly looking into eSurv and have seized computers and shut down the infrastructure supporting the spyware. Google also moved to strip the Exodus apps from its Play Store, and noted that not many of the apps had more than a few dozen installs apiece, though one app exceeded downloads; hardly a rampant infection. Furthermore, in this case, the data collected ran the risk of being tampered with, meaning Italian rozzers could have collected data that wasn't even accurate.
It was-a allegedly used by-a de Italian, er, government
The whole thing is a bit of mess and also highlights that there's still some work to do on Google side to keep spyware-ridden apps at bay. Artificial Intelligence.
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