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Researchers Uncover Years-Long Mobile Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghurs

Researchers Uncover Years-Long Mobile Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghurs

September 22, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new wave of a mobile surveillance campaign has been observed targeting the Uyghur community as part of a long-standing spyware operation active since at least 2015, cybersecurity researchers disclosed Thursday. The intrusions, originally attributed to a threat actor named  Scarlet Mimic  back in January 2016, is said to have encompassed 20 different variants of the Android malware, which were disguised as books, pictures, and an audio version of the Quran. The malware, while relatively unsophisticated from a technical standpoint, comes with extensive capabilities to steal sensitive data from an infected device, send SMS messages on the victim's behalf, make phone calls, and track their locations. Additionally, it allows the recording of incoming and outgoing phone calls as well as surrounding audio. "All this makes it a powerful and dangerous surveillance tool," Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point  said  in a technical deepdive, calling the spyware  MobileOrder
Researchers Find New Android Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghur Community

Researchers Find New Android Spyware Campaign Targeting Uyghur Community

September 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A previously undocumented strain of Android spyware with extensive information gathering capabilities has been found disguised as a book likely designed to target the  Uyghur community  in China. The malware comes under the guise of a book titled " The China Freedom Trap ," a biography written by the exiled Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa. "In light of the ongoing conflict between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Uyghur community, the malware disguised as the book is a lucrative bait employed by threat actors (TAs) to spread malicious infection in the targeted community," cybersecurity firm Cyble  said  in a report published Monday. The existence of the malware samples, which come with the package name " com.emc.pdf ," was first disclosed by researchers from the  MalwareHunterTeam  late last month. Distributed outside of the official Google Play Store, the app, once installed and opened, displays a few pages of the book, includi
Hackers Using Fake Foundations to Target Uyghur Minority in China

Hackers Using Fake Foundations to Target Uyghur Minority in China

May 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The Uyghur community located in China and Pakistan has been the subject of an ongoing espionage campaign aiming to trick the targets into downloading a Windows backdoor to amass sensitive information from their systems. "Considerable effort was put into disguising the payloads, whether by creating delivery documents that appear to be originating from the United Nations using up to date related themes, or by setting up websites for non-existing organizations claiming to fund charity groups," according to joint research published by Check Point Research and Kaspersky today. The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic minority group originating from Central and East Asia and are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. At least since 2015, government authorities have placed the region under tight surveillance, putting hundreds of thousands into prisons and internment camps that the government calls "Vocational Education and Training Centers.
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