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World Cup fans will have to install Qatar spyware onto their phones

by on19 October 2022

This will test their enthusiasm

"Everyone visiting Qatar for the World Cup needs to install spyware on their phone," writes security researcher Bruce Schneier.

Speaking to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), Schneier said that it is likely that everyone traveling to Qatar during the football World Cup will be asked to download two apps called Ehteraz and Hayya.

Ehteraz is an covid-19 tracking app, while Hayya is an official World Cup app used to keep track of match tickets and to access the free Metro in Qatar.

Ehteraz asks for access to several rights on your mobile, like access to read, delete or change all content on the phone, as well as access to connect to WiFi and Bluetooth, override other apps and prevent the phone from switching off to sleep mode. It gets a number of other accesses such as an overview of your exact location, the ability to make direct calls via your phone and the ability to disable your screen lock.

Hayya asks for access to share your personal information with almost no restrictions. In addition, the Hayya app provides access to determine the phone's exact location, prevent the device from going into sleep mode, and view the phone's network connections.

Schneier said that it remains to be seen whether Qatar will strictly enforce the installation of these apps, but they are a legal requirement now.


Last modified on 19 October 2022
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