Hammad Akbar - A Pakistani CEO - Creator of Mobile Spy App StealthGenie, The app marketed as a tool for spying on cheating spouses and keeping an eye on kids, has been arrested, according to federal authorities.
Hammad Akbar, 31, from city Lahore, Pakistan, was arrested on Saturday in Los Angeles and appeared in court on Monday. He faces charges of conspiracy, sale of a surreptitious interception device, advertisement of a known interception device and advertising a device as a surreptitious interception device.
Authorities indicted him in Virginia, where a data center that hosted StealthGenie is located, an FBI statement said.
The FBI said the case marks the first time anyone has faced criminal charges for marketing and selling such an app.
StealthGenie could monitor calls, texts, videos and other communications on mobile phones without detection. It’s among a handful of mobile applications called “stalker apps.”
The official StealthGenie website has been taken down by the feds. Currently, The website shows an empty page.
“Selling spyware is not just reprehensible, it’s a crime,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell. “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.”
According to the indictment, users of the app had to access a person’s phone for just a few minutes to install the app.
“As technology continues to evolve, the FBI will investigate and bring to justice those who use illegal means to monitor and track individuals without their knowledge,” said Andrew McCabe, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, in the statement.