Monday, October 26, 2020

Intelligence agencies red-flag 52 apps linked with China that may compromise user data: Report

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— Consider reading the article Intelligence agencies red-flag 52 apps linked with China that may compromise user data: Report on OpIndia website —

Amid the India-China standoff at LAC in eastern Ladakh, the Intelligence agencies of India have suggested the government to ban or advise people to stop using several apps from China. The agencies claimed that the apps are not safe and are extracting a large amount of data outside India.

As per the reports of Hindustan times, the list of applications sent to the government by the agency includes video conferencing app Zoom, short-video app TikTok, and other utility and content apps such as UC Browser, Xender, SHAREit, and Clean-master.

A government official stated that the recommendation made by the intelligence has been supported by the National Security Council Secretariat agreeing with the fact that these apps can be dangerous to India’s internal security.

The official revealing about the parameters and the risks attached to each app said, “The discussions on the recommendations are continuing.”

The 52 apps flagged by the intelligence report are:

  1. TikTok
  2. Vault-Hide
  3. Vigo Video
  4. Bigo Live
  5. Weibo
  6. WeChat
  7. SHAREit
  8. UC News
  9. UC Browser
  10. BeautyPlus
  11. Xender
  12. ClubFactory
  13. Helo
  14. LIKE
  15. Kwai
  16. ROMWE
  17. SHEIN
  18. NewsDog
  19. Photo Wonder
  20. APUS Browser
  21. VivaVideo- QU Video Inc
  22. Perfect Corp
  23. CM Browser
  24. Virus Cleaner (Hi Security Lab)
  25. Mi Community
  26. DU recorder
  27. YouCam Makeup
  28. Mi Store
  29. 360 Security
  30. DU Battery Saver
  31. DU Browser
  32. DU Cleaner
  33. DU Privacy
  34. Clean Master – Cheetah
  35. CacheClear DU apps studio
  36. Baidu Translate
  37. Baidu Map
  38. Wonder Camera
  39. ES File Explorer
  40. QQ International
  41. QQ Launcher
  42. QQ Security Centre
  43. QQ Player
  44. QQ Music
  45. QQ Mail
  46. QQ NewsFeed
  47. WeSync
  48. SelfieCity
  49. Clash of Kings
  50. Mail Master
  51. Mi Video call-Xiaomi
  52. Parallel Space

The Home Ministry had issued an advisory on the use of the video-conferencing app Zoom in the month of April on the recommendation of the national cybersecurity agency Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-in). Apart from India, Taiwan had also prevented its government agencies from using the app. The German Foreign Ministry had also restricted use of Zoom to emergency situations on personal computers and the United States suggested it’s Senate members use other modes of communications. The company later responded to the advisory stating that it is serious about the user’s security.

The call for a ban against certain Chinese mobile apps has been witnessed from time to time on the suspicion of the mobile app companies compromising with the user’s data. And companies who have produced apps like Tik Tok, that is owned and operated by ByteDance have also issued denials. Despite that many officials agree that many android or IOS apps which are either developed by Chinese officials or launched by a company with Chinese links possess the potential to be used as spyware or other malicious ware.

Also, several reports have emerged that the security agencies had advised security personnel to refrain from using them in view of the ‘detrimental impact that this could have on data security’.

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