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Human Rights Organizations under Pressure from Cyber-Assaults

Think Tank Citizen Lab, of Canada which operates under the Munk School of Global Affairs of University-of-Toronto recently released a report that states how human rights activists have been subjected to cyber-attacks employing APTs (advanced persistent threats) that quite similarly strike public and government sector organizations, published cbronline.com, November 11, 2014.

Research conductors at Citizen Lab caution how civil rights enthusiasts have even less provisions compared to governments and corporations in tackling cyber-security and how these assaults can endanger democracy and people's rights.

Human rights activities characteristically neither possess the funding required for buying the services of technical security professionals nor have scope for getting government support in maintenance of digital protection alternatively have general policy with which their confidentiality as well as security can be safeguarded.

The research spanning four years covered ten separate organizations. With its results, Citizen Lab found how prominent cyber-attacks struck human rights gatherings in the same severe manner as they struck governments and industries. These cyber-attacks were like an alleged spying campaign from China named APT1 as also one more alleged Chinese campaign, NetTraveler.

For executing the assaults, considerable resources were used even as hackers deceitfully made the activists load malicious software onto their PCs.

There wasn't any requirement of high-tech cyber-weapons as the hackers knew their target organizations' defenses were truly feeble. The assaults worked out fine with well-designed socially-engineered phishing tactics like pretending to be fund providers, or pretending to be other activists belonging to alliance organizations.

Evidently, hackers receiving support of the People's Liberation Army (Unit 61398) of China targeted a Tibetan organization as also compromised a civil activist group. Mandiant an American cyber-security firm first identified this military unit.

Senior Researcher Nart Villeneuve of FireEye Inc. that of late acquired Mandiant said the hackers were capable of equipping themselves to attack inadequately-defended targets while progressively move towards targets that were adequately-defended big firms. Investing.com published this, November 11, 2014.

Finally according to the report, getting potential victims to click infected files proved far greater relevance than being technically advanced. Assaults concentrated on particular entities, remained for certain time-periods, and benefited from political motivation.

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