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Political Activists and Journalists in Kazakhstan Fall for Government’s Malicious Programs

Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that a malware campaign through phishing has been targeting political activists and journalists belonging to the Kazakhstan's government and these targets' family members as well as associates and lawyers. Circleid.com posted this, August 4, 2016.

EFF's report jointly with Amnesty International and First Look Media tells that the attackers utilized off-the-shelf malicious software costing $40-or-so to distribute among victims in the form of booby-trapped documents which were attachments in spear-phishing electronic mails.

If these attachments were opened, malware would infect the victim's computer. EFF states that generally the attackers employed dual Remote Access Trojans namely JRat and Bandook.

The spear-phishing attack sent the malicious attachments to Alexander Petrushov and Irina Petrushova, who published Respublika the daily which's currently available only on the Net after the Kazakhstan government stopped its publication on paper. Moreover, the malicious attachments were sent to friends, lawyers as well as relatives of Mukhtar Ablyazov, one of the founders and lead person of Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan the opposition party in the country.

According to EFF, the malicious program dispatched to kin of Ablyazov may've aided government of Kazakhstan in tracing the family's whereabouts inside Italy, order that the daughter and wife of Ablyazov be arrested followed with hurriedly deporting them. Ablyazov, who's presently in France, is striving to get extradited to Kazakhstan.

Experts discovered IP addresses as well as infrastructure which bridged the assaults with an organization called Appin Security Group. It was noticed that the identical infrastructure had helped cyber-espionage attacks vis-à-vis separatists from Punjab and certain telecom company in Norway earlier.

EFF's report outlines that there's no requirement of costly surveillance tools from Hacking Team for governments unlike the case of private entities, and that traded malicious programs are as effective.

According to Global Policy Analyst Eva Galperin at EFF, authoritarian governments commonly utilize malware for spying on as well as intimidating dissidents staying at countries' borders. Administrations are changing approach by favoring clandestinely-loaded malware for tracking, causing problems, and forcibly making them silent who try bringing corruption in the open and appraise people regarding abuse of human rights, in particular, targets beyond the authoritarian's jurisdiction.

» SPAMfighter News - 8/10/2016

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