For those who can go to Qatar World Cup, which will be held from November 20, 2022, there will be a technological requirement: install two applications. These are focused on helping the transit of people and health issues due to covid-19. However, cybersecurity experts made a call because they could be spy apps.
Since NRKNorwegian news portal, contacted computer security specialists to discuss the risks that these platforms would represent, which ask for full access permissions to phone content, such as location, reading or deleting things on the cell phone, Wi-Fi connections, among others.
Applications that would be spy in Qatar
The two platforms that the medium talks about are Ehteraz and Hayya, which would also be almost mandatory for every fan who goes to the country to enjoy the soccer tournament.
The first is a covid-19 tracking app, while the second is official for the World Cup so that people can access the subway for free and track tickets to matches. So far everything normal.
However, they begin to raise doubts when they request permission to access phone settings, such as reading, deleting or changing all cell phone content, connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, having priority over other applications, preventing the phone from stay in sleep mode, location, make calls and disable the screen lock.
“The people who control the applications are given the ability to read and change things, and adjust them. They also have the opportunity to retrieve information from other applications if they have the ability to do so, and we believe they do,” he said. Øyvind Vasaasenhead of security at NRK.
This is not the first time that a call for attention has been made about Ehterazbecause the application had already been questioned in Norway for its privacy policies by collecting a large number of information.
Another cybersecurity expert, Martin Gravak, of Bouvethighlights that this application is key “if you go after your opponents, homosexuals or other people you don’t like, an application like this will make it much easier for you”, because it can access a phone and even track those around it .
One of the problems is that they are almost mandatory apps, everyone who goes to the World Cup would have to download them to be able to enter the country and when doing so, removing the required permits is very complicated.
That is why the recommendation they make is not to carry a work cell phone and not a personal one, but to opt for the possibility of having an exclusive one for what is going to be done there and maintain basic communications.
“They get too broad access to change and take over the functionality of their mobile phone, which seems to be completely unnecessary. It allows for government surveillance, and since it’s about qatarthat must also be taken into account, ”says the outlet, which tried to speak to FIFA but received no response.
Although both applications are presented as a solution to specific situations of those attending the world Cupsuch as health monitoring, subway transportation and aid in attendance at the stadiums for the matches, those who go must keep this whole panorama in mind, because as pointed out by vasaasen, Giving all those permissions “is like giving the authorities full access to your home.”