Indian Army asks personnel to uninstall 89 Apps including Zoom, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram Snapchat & others
Only a week after the Indian government banned 59 Chinese Origin Apps, the Indian Army HQ has issued a notification asking its personnel to delete/uninstall 89 Apps other Apps which they believe are a data leak threat. The order for deletion of 89 Apps includes the 59 Chinese origin Apps already notified the Indian Government. In addition, they have ordered their soldiers to delete Apps like Facebook, Zoom, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc.
Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete 89 apps from their smartphones including Facebook, TikTok, Truecaller and Instagram to plug leakage of information: Indian Army Sources pic.twitter.com/l23Lu5ndNh
— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2020
The Indian army move comes after the heightened tensions with China due to the Galwan Valley clash which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers. The Indian army believes that these 89 Apps could be used by enemy countries to exfiltrate vital security-related information.
We have seen how Pakistan uses Facebook and Instagram profiles to honeytrap Indian soldiers into revealing confidential information. In December last year, the Indian army identified 150 such profiles believed to have been used by Pakistan’s ISI to lure Indian soldiers. These profiles have images of a ‘pretty, young woman’ liking a soldier’s post on social media. After some light conversation, the woman normally asking for more photos of guns, tanks, and aircraft. Over time, the conversation moves to direct messages and WhatsApp chats where the operative of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) tries to blackmail the ‘honey-trapped’ soldier into divulging defense secrets.
A prominent example is of a lady who called herself as Anika Chopra posed as an Army Captain at the Military Nursing Corps online managing to trap at least 50 jawans in the Indian Army. In another case, a soldier in training from Rohtak was found to have shared multiple pictures from at least 18 different Army Recruitment Centres.
Here is the list of 89 apps along with it’s the category;
- Messaging Apps – (We Chat, Helo, Share Chat, Viber, IMO, Hike and others)
- Video hosting (Tik Tok, Likee, Samosa, Kwali, and others)
- Contents sharing (ShareIt, Xender, Zapya, and others)
- Web browsers (UC Browser and UC Browser Mini)
- Video and live streaming (Zoom, LiveMe, Vmate, Uplive, and others)
- Utility apps (CamScanner, Beauty Plus, and True Caller)
- Gaming apps (PUBG, Clash of Kings and others)
- E-Commerce apps (Club Factory, AliExpress, Chinabrands, and others)
- Dating apps (Tinder, OkCupid, Badoo, Bumble, Happn, Couch Surfing, and others)
- News apps (News Dog and Daily Hunt), lifestyle apps (POPXO)
- Music apps (Hungama and Songs.pk)
- Blogging/microblogging apps (Tumblr, Reddit, and others).
Facebook or Reddit has not commented on the Indian Army ban but Truecaller said that “We would like to reiterate that Truecaller remains safe to use, both for our citizens and for our esteemed armed forces personnel. We see no reason for Truecaller to be on this list and will investigate the matter further.”