CEO of stalkerware company arrested

Hammad Akbar, a Pakistani national and CEO of Invocode, marketers of Stealthgenie, was arrested in LA on Saturday and charged with a variety of offenses related to making, marketing and selling "interception devices."

Akbar's product, Stealthgenie, was mobile malware for Blackberries, Ios and Android devices. Once installed, it allowed users to track their victims' locations, intercept their voicemail and SMSes; and plunder their devices for videos, photos, calendars, address book items, etc. According to the Assistant AG who oversaw the arrest, "Apps like Stealthgenie are expressly designed for use by stalkers and domestic abusers who want to know every detail of a victim's personal life — all without the victim's knowledge." Akbar is the first stalkerware vendor to be arrested in the US for marketing products like Stealthgenie.

The government said that Akbar, as CEO of InvoCode that marketed the spyware online, produced an app that works on the Blackberry, the iPhone, and phones running Android. Akbar is accused of conspiracy, sale of a surreptitious interception device, advertisement of a known interception device, and advertising a device as a surreptitious interception device. He was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday. The spyware was hosted on servers run by Amazon Web Services in Ashburn, Virginia, the government said.

Spyware executive arrested, allegedly marketed mobile app for "stalkers" [David Kravets/Ars Technica]