In the United Arab Emirates the use of messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and the like is prohibited, however, there is an application called ToTok that has been available to install and chat between users. Why that one and not another? That's what they asked in The New York Times, and it seems that they have uncovered a whole scandal.
A chat with the government
Took It was launched in early 2019, and it came as the salvation for users who wanted to chat with their friends and family. Thanks to its practically exclusivity in the applications sector, ToTok immediately gained fame in the country, so millions of users downloaded it almost without thinking. Well, it seems that the people behind the application do not inspire too much confidence in terms of privacy for users.
The New York Times investigated the case by conducting a technical analysis and several interviews with security experts, until he discovered that after ToTok hides Breej Holding, a company affiliated with DarkMatter, an Emirati cyberintelligence company formed by former employees of the National Security Agency and former Israeli military intelligence agents. Almost nothing.
DarkMatter was already under investigation by the FBI after being accused of alleged cybercrimes, so the thing does not look good, but it must be added that there would be another ToTok-related company called Pax AI, which is not more than a data mining based in Abu Dhabi and also related to DarkMatter. To continue curling the curl, Pax IA operates in the same building in which the Emirates Signal Intelligence Agency does, so you don't have to be too smart to find the connections.
The application has disappeared
Luckily, the research done by The New York Times and the calls that the newspaper made to Google and Apple have caused both to withdraw the application from their respective stores, so it is currently not possible to download it officially. Of course, the application continues to work, so all those phones that have it installed can continue to use it without problems.
At the moment it is unknown if the application has been able to record audio or video calls, but it is believed that at least it has been able to analyze user records and contacts in search of patterns. Taking into account that users gave him access to the gallery, contacts and microphone voluntarily, the application has been able to know everything. And that is the risk that is obtained by allowing access to all our data unconsciously.