The Indian government has once again picked out Chinese apps on both Android and iOS and listed them as spyware or malware. Indian intelligence agencies have listed as many as 42 mobiles apps including popular ones such as Truecaller and WeChat, that could aid a cyber-attack against the nation. To this effect, the agencies have already issued an advisory warning the army and paramilitary against their usage.
The advisory says, “As per reliable inputs, a number of Android/IOS apps developed by Chinese developers or having Chinese links are reportedly either spyware or other malicious ware. Use of these apps by our force personnel can be detrimental to data security having implications on the force and national security.”
The Home Ministry has come up with the advisory with inputs from several intelligence agencies like the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).All army personnel have been told to immediately uninstall the 42 apps as well as format their smartphones for additional measure.
— Dushyant Kumar (@Dushyan01284771) December 1, 2017
Unfortunately, a few often-used apps are on the list, while the rest are largely antivirus apps, web browsers, and file managers. Here are the apps that have been listed, according to the report: Weibo, WeChat, SHAREit, Truecaller, UC News, UC Browser, BeautyPlus, NewsDog, VivaVideo- QU Video Inc, Parallel Space, APUS Browser, Perfect Corp, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), CM Browser, Mi Community, DU recorder, Vault-Hide, YouCam Makeup, Mi Store, CacheClear DU apps studio, DU Battery Saver, DU Cleaner, DU Privacy, 360 Security, DU Browser, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Baidu Translate, Baidu Map, Wonder Camera, ES File Explorer, Photo Wonder, QQ International, QQ Music, QQ Mail, QQ Player, QQ NewsFeed, WeSync, QQ Security Centre, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Mi Video call-Xiaomi, and QQ Launcher.
It is not the first time that the Indian government has flagged Chinese apps under doubts of espionage.In 2016 itself, the centre had issued another advisory which asked people to refrain from using Chinese origin applications as well as smartphones made in the neighbouring country.
TrueCaller replied to the issue:
In response to this, Popular Mobile App ‘Truecaller’ has replied to the issue, It said: “In response to reports, we’d like to clarify Truecaller is a Swedish company. We’re unsure why the app is mentioned, but we’re investigating. Truecaller isn’t spyware & all features are permission-based & disabled by default.”
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