A few months ago, the ToTok app began to gain popularity. The messenger was preferred by millions of users around the world, but overnight Google and Apple removed the application from their markets. The reason for this was the suspicion of surveillance of the owners of Android-smartphones and iPhone by the authorities.
The slogan of the app “Fast and safe communication”, according to censors of the App Store and Google Play, is deceptive. ToTok is accused of spying on users for the benefit of the special services of the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, the application does not cause any suspicion visually.
ToTok has been downloaded 5 million times in the Google Play store, and in the social store ranking of the App Store, it ranked 50th. The application is most popular in the UAE, but quite a lot of people downloaded it from other regions, including the USA, countries of Asia, Africa and Europe. Many preferred this messenger because of a limited functionality or a complete blockage of more popular messaging services.
According to The New York Times, the app was written by DarkMetter, a hacker group that creates surveillance tools commissioned by the UAE. At the same time, the company employs former NSA and Israeli military intelligence officers. Experts found that ToTok without warning users records sounds, monitors the sending of images, and the creators of the messenger have full access to correspondence, location and other confidential information.
ToTok is currently not available in Apple and Google stores, but the service continues to work on devices on which it was previously installed. Messenger distributions are also on third-party resources.