Google has removed hundreds of apps suspected of being used to stalk and harass people from its official Play Store.
The so-called “creepware” apps had been downloaded more than a million times and were used by hackers to directly or indirectly attack people.
Published online this month, the report outlines how experts analysed the use of creepware on the Play Store.
All a victim needs to do is download a dodgy app and hackers may have access to their phone’s files, messages, camera and more.
Creepware lets people hack into your computer or mobile device and control it from a distance, according to cybersecurity.
Researchers behind the creepware report developed an algorithm named CreepRank that can identify the dodgy software on other people’s phones.
The algorithm even assigns a “creep score” to each app based on how many features they have that can be used to spy on or harass people.
The team then ran the software on anonymised data from apps installed on more than 50million Android smartphones.
The data was provided by NortonLifeLock using information from phones that had installed the Norton Mobile Security mobile antivirus app.