Black Hat 2021

Resources with “A Survivor-Centric, Trauma-Informed Approach to Stalkerware

About us

Lodrina Cherne (@hexplates) s a champion for security in the digital forensics and cybersecurity industries. As Principal Security Advocate at Cybereason, she drives innovation and development of best practices related to cybersecurity standards and policy. Cherne is also a Certified Instructor at the SANS Institute where she helps information security professionals advance their foundational understanding of digital forensics. Cherne’s role as a Researcher at the Technology & Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center also works to frame technology in the public discourse about the reliability of information online. Cherne has earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Boston University and has participated in the TELI program at Aspen Tech Policy Hub.

Martijn Grooten (@martijn_grooten), a former mathematician, has been working in IT security for 14 years. He was previously the Editor of Virus Bulletin and currently works as a consultant on a number of projects, many of which deal with supporting vulnerable people and groups with digital security. He is part of the team that built the Ford Foundation’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, a fellow at the Civilsphere Lab and a Coordinator at the Coalition Against Stalkerware.


The Coalition Against Stalkerware defines as software, made available directly to individuals, that enables a remote user to monitor the activities on another user’s device without that user’s consent and without explicit, persistent notification to that user in a manner that may facilitate intimate partner surveillance, harassment, abuse, stalking, and/or violence. Note: we do not consider the device user has given consent when apps merely require physical access to the device, unlocking the device, or logging in with the username and password in order to install the app.


  • In 2020, Eva Galperin (EFF) gave a TED Talk on stalkerware in which she explained what motivated her to work in this issue. In 2019, Wired covered her plans to eradicate stalkerware.
  • The Coalition Against Stalkerware is a coalition of security companies, digital rights organizations, advocacy organizations and universities that aims to combat stalkerware.
  • Operation Safe Escape helps victims of abuse, stalking, and harassment escape the abuse and stay safe once they do.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (United States). Can be called by survivors, those supporting survivors and can also offer help to those suspecting they may be abusive. The Coalition Against Stalkerware has a list of resources that include helplines in many other countries.
  • The Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA) at Cornell Tech has a resources page that includes security guides for commonly used accounts and devices, written especially for abuse survivors.
  • There are technology safety websites aimed at survivors with a lot of practical information on dealing with tech abuse by NNEDV (United States), WESNET (Australia) and Refuge (UK).
  • The research paper “Privacy Threats in Intimate Relationships” by Karen Levy and Bruce Schneier looks at the intimate partner threat model and the implications for product design.
  • Five Technology Design Principles to Combat Domestic Abuse” is an IBM paper in which five design principles are proposed that aim to combat technology-facilitated abuse.
  • The Inclusive Safety Project” aims to make tech safer by prioritizing the most vulnerable through education, consulting and research. Linked to it is the book “Design for Safety” by Eva PenzyMoog.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the fight against stalkerware and our collective efforts to support survivors. In particular those who helped with this our talk: NNEDV, WESNET, CETA and Certo Software (who briefed us on iOS stalkerware). We’d like to thank Eva Galperin and Tara Hairston in particular.