Trump Country World News

FaceApp The New Russian Trojan Horse

Reading Time: < 1 minute

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer released a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), written in response to Leader Schumer’s July 17, 2019 letter calling for federal national security and privacy review into the risks posed by the Russia-based FaceApp, a mobile software application used by millions of Americans that requires full and irrevocable access to user’s personal photos and data.

In its response to Leader Schumer, the FBI concludes that mobile applications like Russia-based FaceApp are potential security threats, based on “the data the product collects, its privacy and terms of use policies, and the legal mechanisms available to the Government of Russia that permit access to data within Russia’s borders.” The FBI also emphasizes that Russia’s intelligence services maintain “robust cyber exploitation services” and can remotely access data located on Russian networks without making a request to an Internet Service Provider. The FBI also says it is prepared to address foreign influence operations involving apps like FaceApp against elected officials, candidates, political campaigns, and political parties, as appropriate.

“In light of FBI’s warning that FaceApp, and similar applications developed in Russia, poses a potential counterintelligence threat to the United States, I strongly urge all Americans to consider deleting apps like FaceApp immediately and proceed with extreme caution when downloading apps developed in hostile foreign countries,” said Leader Schumer. “The personal data FaceApp collects from a user’s device could end up in the hands of Russian intelligence services.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s letter to Leader Schumer can be found here.