Featured Articles

Nvidia Shield 2 shows up in AnTuTu

Nvidia Shield 2 shows up in AnTuTu

Nvidia’s original Shield console launched last summer to mixed reviews. It went on sale in the US and so far Nvidia…

More...
AMD CSO John Byrne talks ARM

AMD CSO John Byrne talks ARM

We had a chance to talk about AMD’s upcoming products with John Byrne, Chief Sales Officer, AMD. We covered a number…

More...
AMD Chief Sales Officer thinks GPU leadership is critical

AMD Chief Sales Officer thinks GPU leadership is critical

We had a chance to talk to John Byrne who spent the last two years as Senior Vice President and Chief…

More...
OpenPlus One $299 5.5-inch Full HD phone

OpenPlus One $299 5.5-inch Full HD phone

OnePlus is one of the few small companies that might disrupt the Android phone market, dominated by giant outfits like Samsung.…

More...
KFA2 GTX 780 Ti Hall Of Fame reviewed

KFA2 GTX 780 Ti Hall Of Fame reviewed

KFA2 gained a lot of overclocking experience with the GTX 780 Hall of Fame (HOF), which we had a chance to…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Friday, 31 August 2012 10:47

Computer spyware used to track dissidents

Written by Nick Farrell



Two men track the tool use

Software designed for criminal investigations is being used by governments with dodgy human rights records to track down dissidents. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak have been moonlighting as detectives, chasing an elusive surveillance tool from Bahrain across five continents.

FinSpy which is sold for use only in criminal investigations, the two came across evidence that it was being used to target political dissidents. The software can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customised for all major mobile phones. It is designed to elude anti-virus software made by Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, F-Secure and others. 

They have found it being used in Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes. FinSpy is made by the Gamma Group, a British company that says it sells monitoring software to governments solely for criminal investigations. But protesters crashing through Egypt's state security headquarters discovered a document that appeared to be a proposal by the Gamma Group to sell FinSpy to the government of president Hosni Mubarak for $353,000.

Martin Muench said the Gamma Group sold FinSpy to governments only to monitor criminals and that it was most frequently used "against paedophiles, terrorists, organised crime, kidnapping and human trafficking". But Marquis-Boire and Marczak looked at some suspicious emails sent to three Bahraini activists. They discovered all the emails contained spyware that reported back to the same command-and-control server in Bahrain. The spyware was monitoring Bahraini activists who had no criminal history.

Since publishing their findings, Marquis-Boire and Marczak started receiving malware samples from other security researchers and from activist groups that suspected they may have been targets. In several cases, the two found that the samples reported back to websites run by the Gamma Group. But other samples appeared to be actively snooping for foreign governments.

More here

Nick Farrell

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

To be able to post comments please log-in with Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments