pcTattletale Data Breach Causes Spyware Maker to Close Down
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pcTattletale Data Breach Causes Spyware Maker to Close Down

US spyware maker, pcTattletale has closed shop days after it experienced a data breach. According to Techcrunch, the spyware company Founder, Bryan Fleming said the company had gone out of business and was completely done. The company closure comes just days after the pcTattletale data breach was reported.

Designed to work as a remote surveillance app, pcTattletale was often referred to as the ‘stalkerware’. Subscribers could use it to track their contacts with their knowledge, viewing their private data and screenshots of their Windows or Android devices remotely from any location across the world.

In the market, the pcTattletale app was positioned as a solution for monitoring employees. It was also promoted as an app that allowed domestic partners and spouses to snoop on each other without consent.

Hacking Attack

The pcTattletale Spyware data breach was characterized by defacing of the company’s website and publication of links that contained huge data amounts from its servers. Information about 138000 customers may have been exposed to identity theft following the spyware data breach.

Analysis of the data that got exposed due to the pcTattletale data breach shows that the spyware company stored over 300 million screenshots from customer devices. pcTattletale was using Amazon S3 storage server to store the screenshots. The hacker left a message on the company’s defaced website saying that pcTattletale’s servers may be tricked to turn over the private key for its account on Amazon Web Services.

In a message sent to TechCruch, the founder of the app pointed to a total pcTattletale shutdown when he said that he could no longer access the Amazon account.

“I deleted everything because the data breach could have exposed my customers. The account is closed, the servers are deleted,” Fleming said.

However, Fleming said he didn’t retain a copy of the data. He also didn’t explain the fact that his pcTattletale deleted the data without notifying individuals whose details had been exposed during the data breach.

Screenshots Go Public

TechCrunch says it had confirmed that screenshots from devices that were using pcTattletale online were still accessible to the public. According to the tech news website, there’s a likelihood that Amazon took action against pcTattletale as the Amazon S3 storage server the company used had the error code, ‘AllAccessDisabled.’

Amazon uses the ‘AllAccessDisabled’ error code to block customer account access. The code is also used to block the customers from accessing their accounts, leaving them with the option of contacting Amazon for assistance. It remains unclear whether this may have been the case for pcTattletale’s founder.

Not Uncommon

The pcTattletale Spyware out of business case is not unique. In most cases, spyware applications are buggy and are known for leaking data. In the past, regulators have banned spyware makers from engaging in surveillance for security reasons. Other spyware companies that have experienced data breaches and shutdown include LetMeSpy, Highster, and PhoneSpector.

James Hughes
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