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Global Coalition and Tech Giants Unite Against Commercial Spyware Abuse

Global Coalition and Tech Giants Unite Against Commercial Spyware Abuse
Feb 07, 2024 Spyware / Zero-Day Vulnerability
A coalition of dozens of countries, including France, the U.K., and the U.S., along with tech companies such as Google, MDSec, Meta, and Microsoft, have signed a joint agreement to curb the abuse of commercial spyware to commit human rights abuses. The initiative, dubbed the  Pall Mall Process , aims to tackle the proliferation and irresponsible use of commercial cyber intrusion tools by establishing guiding principles and policy options for States, industry, and civil society in relation to the development, facilitation, purchase, and use of such tools. The declaration stated that "uncontrolled dissemination" of spyware offerings contributes to "unintentional escalation in cyberspace," noting it poses risks to cyber stability, human rights, national security, and digital security. "Where these tools are used maliciously, attacks can access victims' devices, listen to calls, obtain photos and remotely operate a camera and microphone via 'zero-click&

Researchers Link DragonEgg Android Spyware to LightSpy iOS Surveillanceware

Researchers Link DragonEgg Android Spyware to LightSpy iOS Surveillanceware
Oct 04, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
New findings have identified connections between an Android spyware called DragonEgg and another sophisticated modular iOS surveillanceware tool named LightSpy . DragonEgg , alongside WyrmSpy (aka AndroidControl), was  first disclosed  by Lookout in July 2023 as a strain of malware capable of gathering sensitive data from Android devices. It was attributed to the Chinese nation-state group APT41. On the other hand, details about LightSpy came to light in March 2020 as part of a campaign dubbed  Operation Poisoned News  in which Apple iPhone users in Hong Kong were targeted with watering hole attacks to install the spyware. Now, according to Dutch mobile security firm ThreatFabric, DragonEgg attack chains involve the use of a trojanized Telegram app that's designed to download a second-stage payload (smallmload.jar), which, in turn, is configured to download a third component codenamed Core. Further analysis of the artifacts has revealed that the Android variant of the implan

BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups

BouldSpy Android Spyware: Iranian Government's Alleged Tool for Spying on Minority Groups
May 02, 2023 Mobile Security / Spyware
A new Android surveillanceware possibly used by the Iranian government has been used to spy on over 300 individuals belonging to minority groups. The malware, dubbed  BouldSpy , has been attributed with moderate confidence to the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( FARAJA ). Targeted victims include Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, and Armenian Christian groups. "The spyware may also have been used in efforts to counter and monitor illegal trafficking activity related to arms, drugs, and alcohol," Lookout  said , based on exfiltrated data that contained photos of drugs, firearms, and official documents issued by FARAJA.  BouldSpy, like other Android malware families, abuses its access to Android's accessibility services and other intrusive permissions to harvest sensitive data such as web browser history, photos, contact lists, SMS logs, keystrokes, screenshots, clipboard content, microphone audio, and video call recordings. It's worth poin

Demonstrate Responsible AI: Get the ISO 42001 Compliance Checklist from Vanta

cyber security
websiteVantaCompliance / Security Audit
ISO 42001 helps organizations demonstrate trustworthy AI practices in accordance with global standards. With Vanta, completing the requirements for ISO 42001 compliance can be done in a fraction of the time. Download the checklist to get started.

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks
May 20, 2024Software Security / Vulnerability
All developers want to create secure and dependable software. They should feel proud to release their code with the full confidence they did not introduce any weaknesses or anti-patterns into their applications. Unfortunately, developers are not writing their own code for the most part these days. 96% of all software contains some open-source components, and open-source components make up between  70% and 90% of any given piece of modern software . Unfortunately for our security-minded developers, most modern vulnerabilities come from those software components.  As new vulnerabilities emerge and are publicly reported as  Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures  (CVEs), security teams have little choice but to ask the developer to refactor the code to include different versions of the dependencies. Nobody is happy in this situation, as it blocks new features and can be maddening to roll back component versions and hope that nothing breaks. Developers need a way to  quickly  determine if

Google Accuses Spanish Spyware Vendor of Exploiting Chrome, Firefox, & Windows Zero-Days

Google Accuses Spanish Spyware Vendor of Exploiting Chrome, Firefox, & Windows Zero-Days
Dec 01, 2022 Threat Detection / Zero Day
A Barcelona-based surveillanceware vendor named Variston IT is said to have surreptitiously planted spyware on targeted devices by exploiting several zero-day flaws in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Windows, some of which date back to December 2018. "Their Heliconia framework exploits n-day vulnerabilities in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Defender, and provides all the tools necessary to deploy a payload to a target device," Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) researchers Clement Lecigne and Benoit Sevens  said  in a write-up. Variston, which has a  bare-bones website , claims to "offer tailor made Information Security Solutions to our customers," "design custom security patches for any kind of proprietary system," and support the "the discovery of digital information by [law enforcement agencies]," among other services. The vulnerabilities, which have been patched by Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla in 2021 and early 2022, are believed to

Researchers Uncover 'Hermit' Android Spyware Used in Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy

Researchers Uncover 'Hermit' Android Spyware Used in Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy
Jun 17, 2022
An enterprise-grade surveillanceware dubbed Hermit has been put to use by entities operating from within Kazakhstan, Syria, and Italy over the years since 2019, new research has revealed. Lookout attributed the spy software, which is equipped to target both Android and iOS, to an Italian company named RCS Lab S.p.A and Tykelab Srl, a telecom services provider which it suspects to be a front company. The San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm said it detected the campaign aimed at Kazakhstan in April 2022. Hermit is modular and comes with myriad capabilities that allow it to "exploit a rooted device, record audio and make and redirect phone calls, as well as collect data such as call logs, contacts, photos, device location and SMS messages," Lookout researchers Justin Albrecht and Paul Shunk  said  in a new write-up. The spyware is believed to be distributed via SMS messages that trick users into installing what are seemingly innocuous apps from Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo, w

Beware of Fake Amnesty International Antivirus for Pegasus that Hacks PCs with Malware

Beware of Fake Amnesty International Antivirus for Pegasus that Hacks PCs with Malware
Oct 01, 2021
In yet another indicator of how hacking groups are quick to capitalize on world events and improvise their attack campaigns for maximum impact, threat actors have been discovered impersonating Amnesty International to distribute malware that purports to be security software designed to safeguard against NSO Group's Pegasus surveillanceware.  "Adversaries have set up a phony website that looks like Amnesty International's — a human rights-focused non-governmental organization — and points to a promised antivirus tool to protect against the NSO Group's Pegasus tool," Cisco Talos researchers  said . "However, the download actually installs the little-known Sarwent malware." The countries most affected by the campaign include the U.K., the U.S., Russia, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, and Colombia. While it's unclear as to how the victims are lured into visiting the fake Amnesty International website, the cybersecurity firm surmised the atta
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