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Russians demand people in occupation to download spyware app

Friday, 18 August 2023, 16:09
Russians demand people in occupation to download spyware app

The Russians are demanding that teachers, children and their parents in occupied territories install the spyware application Sferum.

Source: Ukraine’s National Resistance Center; Radio Svoboda (Liberty)

Details: Ukraine’s National Resistance Center reported that Sferum is officially a messenger promoted by the Russian Ministry of Education. As the occupiers stated, teachers should use it to communicate with students and parents.

Quote: "However, this software is developed by structures related to the FSB and can spy on the owner of the phone, including transmitting data about the owner’s contacts, calls, movements and searches.

The National Resistance Center recommends that residents of temporarily occupied territories install this software only on a separate, non-primary phone, or ignore the installation of the malicious application."

For reference: The Russians presented this app in 2021 as an analogue of Zoom. It allows group video conferences, video calls, etc. 

In May 2023, Radio Svoboda (Liberty) shared a story about Sferum under the headline The State Has Entered the Chat Room. Control Over Teachers, Students and Parents. 

In particular, it was reported that Russian teachers are being massively and aggressively forced to register in this application. Its implementation in Russian schools is forced and has not been very successful.

A member of the Russian Union of Teachers told the media outlet that educators are mostly afraid to use it because of the requirement to provide personal data during registration.

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