Google bans SmeshApp: Pakistan caught using the app to spy on Indian Army
Google has blocked “SmeshApp” from Play Store after flagging it as a malware. The ban comes after an CNN-IBN investigation revealed that the messenger app was being used by Pakistan intelligence agencies to spy upon Indian Army personals.
SmeshApp was being used to track troop movements after the terror attack on the IAF base in Pathankot in January 2016. According to reports, once installed, the app could be used to gain access to phone calls, messages, photos and location data and more. The stolen information was being transferred to a server in Germany, which was reportedly being operated by Pakistani agencies. The malicious software had also infected the computers of army personals, to leak more confidential information.
Pakistan’s ISI created several fake Facebook profiles to lure unsuspecting Indian solders into the trap. After adding the army personals, the Pakistani agents eventually convinced them to use SmeshApp. Sectors targeted include the Army, Navy and Air Force apart from Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Responding to the report, The Indian Army has issued an advisory to its troops to stop using similar messaging apps. This incident makes one think that it might be wise for Google to implement a screening process for it’s play store, like Apple does with it’s App Store.
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