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South America hacker team targets dissidents, journalists

The breadth and brazenness of the activity of the hackers' carries the characteristics of state sponsorship. As do its objectives. The group is a...

 

South America hacker team targets dissidents, journalists

The breadth and brazenness of the activity of the hackers’ carries the characteristics of state sponsorship. As do its objectives.

The group is attacking opposition and independent journalists in Ecuador with spyware. It also has dummy websites. The most comprehensive, targeting Venezuela, was a constantly updated news site with thoughtful obtained “scoops” on alleged corruption among the ruling socialists. In Ecuador, was to draw a similar fake website size disgruntled police officers.

The researchers launched the three-month investigation into the provision that spyware found on the smartphone of the Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman is written to send pilfered data to the same command-and-control structure as malware sent goals infected in Ecuador. She said the hackers have a “sharp and systematic interest in the political opposition and the independent press” in the three nations, led by allied leftist governments. This suggests that can, on behalf of one or more of these authorities industry, the 60-page report.

In September, the hackers threatened a Citizen Lab researcher if he stabbing around in a US-based machine, the group infected.

“We’re going brains analyzed with a bullet â ??” and your family, too, “have to read a message that popped up on his computer screen.” You want to play the spy and go where you do not know what you should know that it costs a â ?? “Your life!”

It is barely professional behavior among hackers, might suggest little fear of criminal prosecution, said Morgan Marquis-Boire, one of the researchers.

In November the group has tried to computer infected an Associated Press reporter who is also research, a phishing attack designed to steal from his Google password.

The researchers identified the group sent by intertwined internet domains and indicator digital signatures on e-mail to infect computers. She said it active for seven years, it finds use hosting services in Brazil since at least 2008.

The determination behind the intrusion, but can be possible only by court order because of Internet hosting companies privacy policy.

In two examples, goals receive an e-mail from a fake organization that pretend to President Rafael Correa of ​​Ecuador. Others received a message falsely by a leader of the opposition claims the names of people investigated signed by Ecuador intelligence reveals.

That clicked on embedded links their computers infected with spyware that secretly culled information from user machines and send it to servers run by the group, which researchers called “packrat.”

“We believe this is a very efficient operation,” says John Scott-Railton, principal investigator on the team Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto Munk School for Global Business. “Packrat seems carefully choose and then mercilessly behind its objectives.”

The group use the same Internet domains for the year despite some exposure, a technical comfort which would occur by garden-variety cybercriminals cautious seized by law enforcement agencies.

Citizen Lab marked surgery packrat since the hackers use commercially available packages of remote access trojans â ?? “or rats â ??” which infected computers and smartphones, allowing hackers to capture keystrokes, emails and text messaging. The software can even cape microphones and webcams.

The malware is expertly packed to avoid detection by anti-virus programs, according to the researchers, who are at least 35 different types of wrestling-trapped files found.

packrat industry from domains hosted by companies in Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay and the United States of America, Citizen Lab said, and notified it of most of the suppliers Friday, asking that his infrastructure are cruel.

For much of the past two years, about two dozen locations that are “placed” packrat malware resident at one time or another on servers owned US-based GoDaddy.com LLC, a web hosting company. They included soporte-yahoo.com, update-outlook.com, lavozamericana.info, mgoogle.us and login-office365.com, all of whom are registered by the company.

The AP asked GoDaddy if and when someone malicious activity by placing a notice of the draw for Citizen Lab and which have been reported as something is done.

GoDaddy spokesman Nick Fuller said via email that the company was “working on the answers.” He said that as a matter of policy that taking immediate action when the identification of a problem website.

“GoDaddy host approximately 10 million Web sites, and are constantly working with the Internet community to keep safe the Internet,” he wrote.

The study started after that packrat has focused Nisman, the Argentine special prosecutor found dead of a gunshot wound in January while trying â ?? “failed â ??” to criminal charges against president Argentina

Researchers say packrat sent a top Argentine journalist Jorge lanata, the same virus that Nisman received a month before his death.

The virus’ bring digital. fingerprints, the building is to communicate with the same Internet domains used to spy on the opposition Ecuadorians who packrat malware identified in their e-mail with a search script written by the researchers.

Most of the goals identified in Ecuador, as researcher Scott-Railton warned that they probably represent a piece of the activity of the group.

“I doubt their Brazil-centric operations are stopped,” he said. “We do not want Ecuador to overshadow the fact that we are looking for a campaign all over the place.”

In Ecuador, packrat oriented reporters, environmentalists and even the satirist known as Crudo Ecuador, whose lampoons infuriated the president. It also has a website designed to provide the e-mail web interface of the National Assembly Ecuador mirror in an apparent attempt to usernames and passwords legislators’ harvest and break into their accounts, the study found.

Journalist Janet Hinostroza which has a 2013 press freedom award from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said they hacked in January and then again in August, a month after the Minister of the Interior claims that they were involved in a plot to overthrow the government .

“My computer is infected for so long that I think they have had access to all my information,” says Hinostroza.

His may still not contacts and other data access on her Apple iCloud because hackers changed her password and security question.

Other prominent alleged packrat goals in Ecuador include Martha Roldos, an environmental activist, and the emperor Ricuarte, director of the press freedom watchdog Fundamedios. Roldos has a total of 34 malicious emails packrat, Citizen Lab found.

A website created by packrat, called “justicia-desvinculados.com,” is trying to attract Ecuadorians policemen fired after a September 2010 rebellion on benefits severely shaken Correa. Delete Now, it recorded an associated Twitter account.

The most complicated untrue group website appear Pancaliente.info, the Venezuelan opposition-friendly collection of news including written articles and inaccurate are “win.”

Taken offline Tuesday, the site show no contact information about themselves.

But it has to ask readers for their email addresses.

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Online:

Report

Citizen Lab: https://citizenlab.org/2015/12/packrat-report/

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Frank Bajak on Twitter: http: //twitter.com/fbajak. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/frank-bajak.

U.S. computer hacker gets three-and-a-half years for stealing iPad user data

 

U.S. computer hacker gets three-and-a-half years for stealing iPad user data

hacker was sentenced Monday to three years and five months in prison to steal the personal information of users of Apple Inc. iPad about 120,000, including the mayors of large cities, a newscaster and TV network bosses Hollywood movie.

Auernheimer Andrew, 27, was sentenced in November by a jury in Newark, New Jersey, to one count of conspiracy to AT & T Inc servers without authorization and one count of identity theft.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark was at the top of the 33 – to 41 months range that the U.S. Department of Justice

prosecutors asked.

told a prison sentence would deter hackers from invading the privacy of innocent people on the internet.

Among the victims of the activities were Auernheimer ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, according to the indictment.

“When it became clear that he was in trouble, he invented the fiction that he was trying to make the Internet more secure and that everything he did was walk through an open door,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement. “The jury did not buy it, nor the sentencing court.”

Auernheimer

early probation. ‘S Attorney stated that no password has been hacked and that a long prison sentence was not justified because the government has recently asked six months for a defendant in a case involving “facts much more intrusive.”

lawyer, Tor Ekeland, said his client would appeal. He said that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act clearly not determine if unauthorized access.

“If it is criminal, while tens of thousands of Americans commit cybercrime every two days,” Ekeland said in an interview. “There was really no harm.”

Auernheimer

was handcuffed at some point during the trial, the lawyer said. He said his client was “beep” on his phone, and the U.S. Marshals prevail.

Ekeland

is also an important advocate for Matthew, a deputy editor of Social Media at Thomson Reuters Corp. suspended with pay on Friday.

Keys

charged California last week on federal charges of complicity in the collective Anonymous hackers by giving access pirate Tribune Co. systems in December 2010.

The facts before keys began to work on the site Reuters.com. Ekeland said Friday Keys “his innocence protested” and “looks forward to challenge these baseless accusations.

INTERNET TROLL

Lawyers

Auernheimer a” hacker known Internet ‘trolls’, who along with co-defendant Daniel Spitler and Goatse Security group tried to disrupt online content and services.

The two men were accused of using a “Slurper account” designed to provide the e-mail ID for iPad users agree and implement a “brute force” attack to information about users who accessed the Internet via AT & , T servers retrieve.

This information has then been stolen website Gawker, which an article naming famous people whose e-mails were published compromised, prosecutors said.

Spitler pleaded guilty in June 2011 with same costs which Auernheimer was convicted and is awaiting trial.

Gawker has not been charged in this case. In his original article, Gawker told Goatse obtained the data through a script on the website of AT & T, that was accessible to all users. Gawker also says in the article that the authenticity of the data by two people by the names. A spokesman for Gawker on Monday refused to work.

AT & T has partnered with Apple in the United States for wireless services on the iPad. After hacking the function that allowed to obtain email addresses.

The case is U.S. v. Auernheimer, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 11-00470.