Privacy Extensions Riddled with Spyware Impacts 11 Million People

  • Aazim Akhtar
  • Aug-10-2018
  • 0 Comments

Private researchers have recently discovered a collection of suspicious privacy related applications and extensions that are allegedly monitoring and storing user activity on remote servers. The suspected software’s have been speculated to affect over 11 million users worldwide. These softwares were available in both extensions for browsers and mobile applications for Android and IOS.

According to a well-known privacy advocate, both the application and browser extensions belong to a US based company named “Big Start Labs” operating out of Delaware. He also went on to saying that the proprietors of the spyware-ridden softwares are difficult to track at the moment nor is it known with whom they share our data.

Part of the reason for the dubious nature of these softwares is that they are published using different names even when they are owned by a single company. Their privacy policies are available in digital image format as opposed to traditional text file. This makes it impossible for Google to index their privacy policy.

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Alleged spyware application owned by Big Star Labs

Here is the list of all the alleged applications that are owned by Big Star Labs. However, ever since this controversy went mainstream, the company has since then taken down these application from the application stores.

Poper Blockerchrome 2,280,000+ users, Firefox 50,000+ users
CrxMousechrome 410,000+ users
AdblockPrimenot verified
Block Sitechrome 1,440,000+ users, Firefox 119,000+ users, Android 100,000+ downloads
Mobile Health Club apps·         Speed Booster | 5,000,000+

·         Battery Saver | 1,000,000+

·         Clean Droid | 500,000+

·         AppLock | 500,000+

 

The Android operating system has been the most vulnerable in this case, since the Accessibility services of this OS tends to give too much access. What this means is that applications can perform certain tasks without even your interaction. Fortunately, Google has been addressing this issue since last year.

It is no surprise that our data is valuable, after all data-mining companies practically feed off of us. Therefore, whoever is even slightly concerned about their privacy and security must integrate some sort of privacy tool in their lives, I for one would suggest you to check out PureVPN review. Another thing worth mentioning is that you should always make sure that you read the privacy policy of the application developer and download it from a trusted source.

Aazim Akhtar

Aazim Akhtar

Senior Editor

Aazim Akhtar's Biography :


A privacy advocate by day and a binge-watcher by night, Aazim Akhtar loves to write about online security, internet freedom, and all the latest technological trends. Finding ways to secure any sensitive data and protect against existing and emerging cyber threats is his passion. Follow him on Twitter to stay in touch with his work!