According to a report published by the New York Times, the popular app ToTok was used by the UAE government as a surveillance tool. It has been removed from both Apple and Google online stores because authorities were using it to spy on its users, to track the conversations and movements.
“Apple told AFP that ToTok was removed from its App Store pending a review, while Google said it was taken down from the Play Store ‘for a policy issue.'” reported the AFP agency.
The ToTok app is used by millions of users in the UAE and other countries in the Middle East.
The report said US intelligence officials and a security researcher determined the app was being used by the UAE government for detailed surveillance.
“ToTok is a cleverly designed tool for mass surveillance, according to the technical analysis and interviews, in that it functions much like the myriad other Apple and Android apps that track users’ location and contacts.”
The popular expert Patrick Wardle published a detailed analysis of the, abuse of the ToTok app for a “mass surveillance operation.”
“Our analysis showed that ToTok, simply does what it claims to do
“Think about it this way
Wardle pointed out that the app was tricking its users into allowing it to access their data and location.
The ToTok app was developed by the firm Breej Holding which is supposed to be a “front company” linked
The experts speculate that Emirati intelligence officials, former National Security Agency employees, and former Israeli military intelligence operatives work for
The FBI is currently investigating DarkMatter for its possible involvement in cybercrimes.
ToTok denies any involvement in
“While the existing ToTok users continue to enjoy our service without interruption, we would like to inform our new users that we are well engaged with Google and Apple to address the issue,” reads a statement from the company.