India Government Listed 42 Chinese Apps as Spyware and Instructs to Remove them

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Ministry of Defence (India) reportedly issued an order listing 42 Chinese apps as spyware and that has the potential to carry out a cyber attack against the country.

The order was sent to all the armed and paramilitary forces in the country asking to remove these apps from their phone.

According to reports, The advisory was issued based on inputs received from Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and National  Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).

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Here below the order issued by the Ministry of Defence(Source: Indianexpress):

“As per reliable inputs, a number of Android/IOS apps developed by Chinese developers or having Chinese links are reportedly either spyware or other malicious ware. Use of these apps by our force personnel can be detrimental to data security having implications on the force and national security.”

“Therefore it is requested that all officers and men under your command may be advised to not use these apps in office or on personal mobile phones. If some of them are already using any of these apps, then they should be asked to immediately uninstall the app and format their cellphones for strict compliance. You are requested to issue comprehensive guidelines on this matter.”

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Some of the popular apps included in the list are UC Browser-which is one of the most used browsers in India, True caller, Mi store, Mi Community, WeChat, Share It.

True caller has responded to the issue and said that “In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we’re investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission-based and are disabled by default.”

Xiaomi has also responded to issue and said that “ We take security and privacy very seriously. Our global e-commerce platforms and user data for all international users is located on Amazon AWS data centers in California and Singapore. We are currently investigating the advisory and would like to assure Mi Fans that we are fully committed to storing and transferring our users’ data securely at all times.”

Here below is the full list of apps:

Weibo, WeChat, SHAREit, Truecaller, UC News, UC Browser, BeautyPlus, NewsDog, VivaVideo- QU Video Inc, Parallel Space, APUS Browser, Perfect Corp, Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab), CM Browser, Mi Community, DU recorder, Vault-Hide, YouCam Makeup, Mi Store, CacheClear DU apps studio, DU Battery Saver, DU Cleaner, DU Privacy, 360 Security, DU Browser, Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile, Baidu Translate, Baidu Map, Wonder Camera, ES File Explorer, Photo Wonder, QQ International, QQ Music, QQ Mail, QQ Player, QQ NewsFeed, WeSync, QQ Security Centre, SelfieCity, Mail Master, Mi Video call-Xiaomi, and QQ Launcher.

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