ToTok messaging app appeared on the Google Play Store and App Store a few months ago and has gotten millions of downloads over these few months. The majority of the app users are in the Emirates but recently a lot of people around the globe have also downloaded the app even in the US the app has become popular. Totak is said to be a UAE spy tool according to a report by The New York Times.
According to The New Times report, the app is a surveillance tool which is capable of monitoring users’ conversation, relationships, appointments, sound, images and even track their location.
Security experts have analyzed the app and suggest that the app’s parent company, Breej Holding is a front for an Abu-Dhabi based cyber-intelligence and hacking firm called DarkMatter. According to the report, DarkMatter employs intelligence officials from the Emirates, former National Security Agency employees and even former Israeli military intelligence operatives.
Breej Holdings has not commented about the situation. Apple and Google are said to have removed the app from their respective app stores however, the app still remains functional for users who already have it installed on their device.
This news isn’t surprising since the allegations against ToTok to be a UAE spy tool surfaced only because of the heightened concerns that governments are using apps to collect the data of users.
Just recently an Israeli software company was allegedly said to have been using a spyware developed by them to hack into phones of Pakistani officials. You can read about that report here. Also, TikTok, which is an app that allows users to make short videos and is owned by a company based in Beijing was accused of illegally collecting data of users that included personal information and was forwarding it to China.
A lawsuit was filed against TikTok and the US government started investigation into the app over security concerns. The US Navy also banned the app to be used on government-issued phones.
However, future of ToTok is still unknown as there are no actions that have been taken yet accept removal of the app from the App Store and Google Play Store.