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Lebanese Hackers that Spied on Targets from 21 Countries Exposed

 

The intelligence agency of Lebanon seemingly has been caught carrying out espionage operations against numerous people of whom military personnel and journalists are included, across at least twenty countries say researchers from one mobile security firm called Electronic Frontier Foundation and Lookout.

 

One prominent hacking scheme associated with a most robust intelligence and security agency inside Lebanon is now publicly known following unskilled spies leaving stolen data sized several hundred GBs openly on the Web, states a report released January 18. Usnews.com posted this, January 18, 2018.

 

Technical organizations and human rights activists uncovered the espionage operation as one of the dozens globally of recent years ever-since intelligence agencies and governments have become reliant on desktop and mobile spyware to a great extent.

 

Head of Intelligence Mike Murray at Lookout describes the spying as like thieves who after looting the bank forgetfully left the door unlocked of the place they hid the money. Michael Flossman Security Researcher at Lookout stated the trove contained a whole gamut of battlefield photographs of Syria to secret phone conversations, children birthday gatherings' pictures, and passwords.

 

The so-called hackers from Lebanon targeted a variety of entities via infecting phones which various people owned, from army officers to medical professionals, businessmen, lawyers, journalists, activists and educational institutions' staff. According to researchers, the spyware upon installation did many things like quietly switch on the smart-phone's microphone from the remote and record conversations, and also take photographs using back/front camera. Once the phones were compromised, the hackers garnered data such as corporate files, text messages, call records, photos and browsing history. Other means to target victims included WhatsApp messages and Facebook groups which were disguised and made tricky with malware.

 

According to Lookout, the espionage spread across 21 nations, with a number of European countries and USA included. Flossman stated the hackers using socially engineered tactics lured victims to fake websites as also designed fake applications which were difficult to spot. Evidence revealed Lebanese authorities as implanting many malware variants onto people's computer systems that would do their malicious tasks across Linux, Mac, Windows and other operating systems.

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