Man arrested over spy app

A Pakistani man was indicted in Virginia for trying to advertise and sell an application that allow people to secretly spy on others' cellphones.

According to the Justice Department, Hammad Akbar, 31, and other people created the StealthGenie spyware to record calls, monitor people’s emails and text messages and steal their contacts, pictures and other data.

“This application allegedly equips potential stalkers and criminals with a means to invade an individual’s confidential communications,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe said in a statement. “They do this not by breaking into their homes or offices, but by physically installing spyware on unwitting victim’s phones and illegally tracking an individual’s every move."

The app was allegedly marketed to people suspicious that their spouses were cheating on them.

It could be loaded on a phone in just a few minutes, the department said, and was designed to be undetectable to people using the phone. Almost immediately after that, recordings and other information from the phone could be monitored on the Internet.

“StealthGenie has little use beyond invading a victim’s privacy” Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. 

“Advertising and selling spyware technology is a criminal offense, and such conduct will be aggressively pursued by this office and our law enforcement partners,” she added.

The incident is the first ever criminal case against someone for advertising and tryng to sell a mobile spyware app.