Indian intelligence agencies have identified 42 Chinese apps
that have been listed as “dangerous”, as they pose the risk of unleashing a potential cyberattack
against the country.
An advisory was circulated by the intelligence agencies against the use of the listed mobile applications, developed by Chinese developers, saying these were categorised as malware
The authorities cautioned India’s security personnel, including the Indian Army, that apps like the UC Browser, WeChat, Truecaller
and SHAREit, among others, should not be used as there are risks of a potential security breach.
“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,” stated the advisory.
Here is a complete list of the Chinese-made “dangerous” 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.
For those who are currently using any of the listed applications, the intelligence agencies have asked users to un-install them and format their smartphone
on an immediate basis.
“If some of them are already using any of these apps, they should be asked to immediately un-install the app and format their smartphones,” added the advisory.
Meanwhile, Twitter has been flooded with queries as users are trying to gauge the veracity of the threat.
The Financial Express
reported Swedish firm Truecaller
as saying: "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.”