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Hackers attempted attack on Tibetans’ phones associated with Dalai Lama’s activities


The Citizens Lab digital rights activist lately published one report telling about how hackers attempted at infiltrating Android devices and iPhones belonging to residents of Tibet, some engaged in the Dalai Lama's place of work, Tibet's parliament, and Central Tibetan Administration. The hackers employed spyware along with exploits created for Android as well as iOS operating systems, while tried thrusting those wares via crafty phishing messages dispatched through the WhatsApp messenger.


Further according to the report, conversations were made as the hackers pretending to be journalists from New York Times, researchers working at Amnesty International, as well as others, sent messages through WhatsApp to individuals working for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's private office, Tibetan human rights organisations, Tibetan Parliament, and the Central Tibetan Administration. Within the messages the hackers embedded web-links to sites which harbored exploits requiring one lone click that would result in the phones' infection. It was the same gang of attackers performing the hacks which earlier targeted China's Muslims living in the Uyghur province.


Citizen Lab notes that not any of the assaults turned out successful, as the security flaws abused in the targeted Android and iOS phones were already patched. Despite so, the hackers could effectively get 8 persons out of the total fifteen targeted towards viewing malicious web-links, while web-pages shortened with bit.ly that were thrust on iPhone owners received as many as 140 clicks. The attackers, who executed their campaign between November 2018 and May 2019, displayed extreme organising power and skill as suggestive from the research and synchronisation which was put towards collating the large number of targeted people for exploitation. www.arstechnica.com posted this, September 25, 2019.


A spokesman from Apple outlined that the malware used in the campaign could not affect any Tibetan target because they'd already had their iOS duly upgraded.


According to the spokesman, data security of Apple's customers was a highest priority while the company immensely valued its partnership with Citizen Lab like security researchers. Apple always encouraged its clients for downloading iOS' most recent edition that would provide the latest and best security enhancements, the spokesman added.


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