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Revealed: Over 14,000 Android phones tapped in Vietnam

Monday, June 23, 2014, 03:23 GMT+7
Revealed: Over 14,000 Android phones tapped in Vietnam
An ad encouraging users to download a trial version of the ptracker app is seen in this screenshot taken on June 23, 2014.

Police in Vietnam have discovered a Hanoi-based company selling an illegal phone tracking app, which has been installed on more than 14,000 Android phones, and manipulating the data its customers secretly collected from their victims.

Viet Hong Company, a tech firm based in Thanh Xuan District, advertises its ptracker app as being able to help users to track other people’s Android phones, read their SMS messages and contact books, record their phone calls, and even turn on features like camera, 3G or GPRS connections from the target devices.

But its customers may not know that all of the data they covertly monitor from the handsets have been transferred to the server computer of Viet Hong Co at the disposal of the company’s employees, according to an investigation report.

Inspectors from the Hanoi Department of Information and Communications and PC50, the police unit that fights high-tech crime, have recently raided the company and found their manipulation of the ptracker software.

Customers who buy ptracker will have to pay a premium to be granted an account to access the stolen data on Viet Hong’s server.

The ptracker app has been installed on more than 14,000 phones, according to Hanoi police.

Viet Hong Co has raked in nearly VND1 billion (US$47,068) in illegal profit from selling the software, PC50 head Le Hong Son told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Inspectors from the municipal information and communications department said that Viet Hong has breached a number of regulations in the local law on informatics and technology.

“It has collected personal information from others, take control of digital devices, and violate users’ privacy,” the inspectors said.

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