The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued an advisory to the army personnel, with a list of Chinese apps that may be spying on them. The advisory comes shortly after several cybersecurity experts warned about the possibility of a hack attempt from China.
The advisory comprises a list of 42 Chinese origin apps on Android as well as iOS phones that may be spying on sensitive data. The IB advisory reportedly asks the personnel along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to either delete the apps or format their phone entirely.
IB advisory covers China-made handsets
Do not install these malware, spyware apps as mentioned by Digital IT Cell Govt of India. pic.twitter.com/0uhS5znJDq
— Abhishek Bhatnagar (@abhishek) November 30, 2017
The advisory issued by the IB to the Indian army even takes China-made handsets into consideration. According to reports, the advisory asks soldiers to either remove the 42 listed applications or format their smartphones.
While data leaks are not confirmed, it is suspected that Chinese hackers are attempting espionage through China-made applications to steal sensitive data. Today, your smartphones even carry your biometric and facial data and a compromise in personnel-related information can prove dangerous.
The apps under question
While the advisory has named 42 apps in total, we will list some of the most prominent ones here. The list starts with Chinese Social Media platform Weibo and covers WeChat, Truecaller, UC News and UC Browser. While UC browser was earlier removed from the Play Store, it is back again now.
Popular apps from Smartphone maker Xiaomi are also under the ambit. The advisory carries the Mi Community app, Mi Store app, and Mi Video Call app along with other apps that are to be removed. Apps like DU Battery Saver, DU Battery Cleaner, DU Privacy, and 360 Security are also there.
Should you Uninstall?
While the advisory is issued for military personnel, it may apply to civilians too. Your phones contain everything about you from your contacts to your fingerprint and facial data. With sensitive passwords and information stored in it, one cannot compromise in terms of data security.