A team antivirus companies as well as some non-profit organizations, including Avira, Kaspersky and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) came together to combat some stalkerware that was secretly installed on many devices.
This partnership is called Coalition Against Stalkerware (CAS) and aims to combat domestic violence, stalking and harassment by dealing with the use of stalkerware and raising public awareness of the issue.
Overall, 10 organizations participated in this organization: Avira, EFF, G Data, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, NortonLifeLock, Operation Safe Escape, Weisser Ring, and the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence.
"To address this issue, it is important for cybersecurity and defense organizations to work together," said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of anti-malware research at Kaspersky.
“The IT security industry is contributing to improving the detection of stalkerware and improving the awareness of users about this threat to their privacy. Meanwhile, service and defense organizations work directly with victims of domestic violence, know their pain points and their demands, and can guide our work, "Zakorzhevsky added.
Stalkerware applications are used by people to track people nearby, thereby facilitating the process stalking, harassment and violence.
This is usually done by downloading surveillance applications on the victims' phones without their knowledge in order to avoid location data, phone calls, text messages, photos and other sensitive information.
Η EFF noted that there were more than 518.223 cases of spyware on users' devices or an attempt to install during the first eight months of 2019 - an increase of 373% over the same period of 2018.
The newly formed coalition is an attempt to combat this growing threat in the cyberspace.