Spouse cyberspying dangerous, possibly illegal

Surveillance software increasingly used on victims of domestic violence

In that case, Loverspy's creator, Carlos-Enrique Perez-Melara, was indicted with others for "advertising" an interception device, "unlawfully intercepting electronic communications," and "unauthorized access to protected computers for financial gain." But in that case, the accused fled the country before the trial concluded.

Several other commercial spyware packages target detection and eradication. They include Iambigbrother for the desktop PC, and cell phone/smartphone packages like Neo-Call and Flexispy.

"Some of these mobile spyware tools steal information and send it out of the phone," said F-Secure's CTO Mikko Hypponen, who spoke about detecting and eradicating them with F-Secure's security software during a presentation at the recent Black Hat Conference. "Some market the tool saying, install this and monitor your spouse. We think many of these programs are in big use and are just espionage."

"Flexispy gives no indication of running, so we'll detect it and give the user the option to delete it," says Todd Thiemann, director of device security marketing at Trend Micro.

"Most of these use stealth, so we consider it a 'potentially unwanted program,' and it's always unsafe,'" says Hiep Dang, McAfee's director of antimalware research, who says McAfee's software can detect SpectorSoft applications.

That antimalware vendors are targeting SpectorSoft products bothers Fowler, who says his company continually works to come up with improved evasion tactics for its software. "Too many of the antivirus vendors will just take it off your computer, but the vast majority of our customers are legitimate," Fowler concludes.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?