Pinboard search: spyware

Parental-Tracking App mSpy Leaks Millions of Personal Files
Hagar Shezaf and Jonathan Jacobson:

the Israeli espionage industry has become the spearhead of the global commerce in surveillance tools and communications interception. Today, every self-respecting governmental agency that has no respect for the privacy of its citizens, is equipped with spy capabilities created in Herzliya Pituah. The reports about Pegasus prompted Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg and human rights lawyer Itay Mack to go to court in 2016 with a request to suspend NSO’s export permit. At the state’s request, however, the deliberations were held in camera and a gag order was issued on the judgment. Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut summed up the matter by noting, “Our economy, as it happens, rests not a little on that export.” The Defense Ministry benefits from the news blackout. Supervision takes place far from the public eye – not even the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is privy to basic details of the lion’s share of Israel’s defense exports. Contrary to the norms that exist in other democracies, the ministry refuses to disclose the list of countries to which military exports are prohibited, or the criteria and standards that underlie its decisions. A comprehensive investigation carried out by Haaretz, based on about 100 sources in 15 countries, had as its aim lifting the veil of secrecy from commerce based on means of espionage. The findings show that Israeli industry have not hesitated to sell offensive capabilities to many countries that lack a strong democratic tradition, even when they have no way to ascertain whether the items sold were being used to violate the rights of civilians.

Revealed: Israel's cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays • Israel News - Haaretz.com
Loveday Morris and Zakaria Zakaria:

As he criticized the Saudi leadership as a contributing columnist to The Post, [Jamal] Khashoggi had encountered the pro-government Twitter accounts that Saudi activists refer to as “the flies.” “Jamal was insulted so much by the Saudi bots,” [exiled Saudi, Omar] Abdulaziz said. “They were focusing on Jamal as he was the voice in the Western media.” Abdulaziz said he suggested an online countermovement. He just needed some cash to get it off the ground. “We call them ‘the fly army,’ ” he said. “We call ourselves ‘the bee army.’ ” The plan, he recounted, was to buy SIM cards with Canadian and American numbers that Saudis inside the kingdom could use. Twitter accounts must be verified with a phone number, and activists in Saudi Arabia are scared of linking their Saudi numbers to their Twitter accounts, fearful they could be traced and arrested for being critical of the government, he said. They’d already allocated 200 SIM cards to people.   Khashoggi had also asked Abdulaziz to help on a short film showing how the Saudi leadership was dividing the country, he said. And Khashoggi had asked for help designing a logo for a new foundation he was forming — Democracy for Arab World Now. Abdulaziz was also helping him design a website to track human rights issues. But Khashoggi was particularly apprehensive about the SIM card project. “He told me this project is too dangerous,” Abdulaziz said. “He told me to be careful. . . . Twitter is the only platform we have, we don’t have a parliament.”  In a June 21 message, Khashoggi wrote to Abdulaziz: “I will try to get the money. . . . We should do something. You know sometimes I’m [affected] by their attacks.” Two days later, Abdulaziz placed an order on Amazon. He clicked a link sent to his phone to track a parcel delivery. He suspects that the action infected his phone.  The Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto project that investigates digital espionage against civil society, warned him in August that his phone may have been hacked. Two weeks ago, the group concluded with a “high degree of confidence” that his cellphone had been targeted. The group said it believed the operator is linked to “Saudi Arabia’s government and security services.”

As a reminder, Apple in September 2016 issued an urgent security update to address spyware that Saudi Arabia bought from an Israeli company for about $1m to infect the phone of another dissident, Ahmed Mansoor. Mohammad bin Salman, the current ruler of Saudi Arabia, didn't take over until June 2017. So this isn't new.
Saudis tried to silence associate of Jamal Khashoggi, recordings show • The Washington Post
Electronic devices infected with Pegasus, a notorious spyware program sold only to governments, have been discovered in South Africa. The spyware, developed by Israeli cyber warfare firm NSO Group, has been used to target journalists and human rights activists across the world.
Perpetrators using drones to stalk victims in new age of technology fuelled harassment - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
In a report released by Citizen Lab two weeks ago, researchers found that Pegasus - a mobile remote spyware tool - was present in more than 45 countries worldwide and used against numerous targets in the fields of journalism, human rights, and civil society. Pegasus is the same spyware that was found on the device of an Amnesty International staff, as reported by the NGO in August 2018. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/08/staff-targeted-with-malicious-spyware/ The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) highlights in this post (and in this thread https://twitter.com/pressfreedom/status/1047177006222376960) that the findings serve to remind members of the press of the importance of practicing strong digital security: "Researchers have previously identified a number of major Pegasus campaigns, including one against investigative journalists in Mexico, and another against human rights workers in Saudi Arabia. The spyware's presence in 45 countries raises significant implications for journalists, both in terms of their own security as well as the safety of their sources. The spyware gives the attacker the ability to monitor, record, and collect existing and future data from the phone. This includes calls and information from messaging applications and real-time location data. The spyware is able to remotely activate the camera and microphone to surveil the target and their surroundings. Pegasus is designed to be installed on phones running Android, BlackBerry OS, and iOS without alerting the target to its presence. Journalists will likely only know if their phone has been infected if the device is inspected by a tech expert."
South African phones targeted by notorious ‘governments only’ spyware | News | National | M&G
via Committee to Protect Journalists https://cpj.org/
Stack Exchange discuss: Police forcing me to install Jingwang spyware app, how to minimize impact?
I thinks this is remarkable journalism. First of all, check the guy over. Then, ask what kind of school he could go to. Go through the documents and databases, guided by intuition to trace the career of the Russian hitman. Absolutely nailed it. This method should be taught in data journalism school.
CPJ Safety Advisory: Pegasus spyware used to target journalists, civil society
via Axios https://www.axios.com/top/
CPJ Safety Advisory: Pegasus spyware used to target journalists, civil society - Committee to Protect Journalists
Brian Krebs:

mSpy, the makers of a software-as-a-service product that claims to help more than a million paying customers spy on the mobile devices of their kids and partners, has leaked millions of sensitive records online, including passwords, call logs, text messages, contacts, notes and location data secretly collected from phones running the stealthy spyware. Less than a week ago, security researcher Nitish Shah directed KrebsOnSecurity to an open database on the Web that allowed anyone to query up-to-the-minute mSpy records for both customer transactions at mSpy’s site and for mobile phone data collected by mSpy’s software. The database required no authentication. A list of data points that can be slurped from a mobile device that is secretly running mSpy’s software. Before it was taken offline sometime in the past 12 hours, the database contained millions of records, including the username, password and private encryption key of each mSpy customer who logged in to the mSpy site or purchased an mSpy license over the past six months. The private key would allow anyone to track and view details of a mobile device running the software, Shah said.

It's like rain on your wedding day, isn't it.
bellingcat - Skripal Suspect Boshirov Identified as GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga - bellingcat
via Fast Company https://www.fastcompany.com
Money-saving smart tech could be enabling smart domestic abuse | The Independent
via BleepingComputer https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/
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Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour as an idle iOS phone running Safari.
This Windows file may be secretly hoarding your passwords and emails | ZDNet
"someone develops an extension that gains a large amount of users, but doesn’t necessarily make any money. That developer is approached by a company that will pay a large amount of money to purchase the extension. If the developer accepts the purchase, the new company modifies the extension to insert advertisements and tracking, uploads it to the Chrome Web Store as an update, and all the existing users are now using the new company’s extension—with no warning. This happened to Particle for YouTube" "In the past, we might have said that the Web Developer extension was safe because it was legitimate. However, the developer fell for a phishing attack and the extension became malicious. It’s a good reminder that, even if you could trust someone not to sell their extension to a shady company, you’re relying on that person for your security. If that person slips up and allows their account to be hijacked, you’ll end up dealing with the consequences—and they could be a lot worse than what happened with the Web Developer extension."
For second Time in three Years, Mobile Spyware Maker mSpy Leaks Millions of Sensitive Records • Krebs on Security
Honey developer. How malware companies make money:[[Most are generating $ from advertising or data. Approaches I've seen include:replace you default new tab contents their searchreplace existing links with affiliate linksadd new affiliate text links all over the place that look similar to the double underline ones used by some publishersreplace ads across the internetgenerate phantom traffic to websites a user never sees (similar to botnet)capture ALL browsing data including post data (many uses I could speculate on but wont get into here)]]
How mobile tech, social media can stalk, harass and control you
Chrome store but the business model of the buyer is simple – they buy popular add-ons, inject affiliate links and the bulk of users would never notice this since the Chrome browser automatically updates add-ons in the background. And there are no changelogs either.
For 2nd Time in 3 Years, Mobile Spyware Maker mSpy Leaks Millions of Sensitive Records — Krebs on Security
via Fast Company https://www.fastcompany.com
For 2nd Time in 3 Years, Mobile Spyware Maker mSpy Leaks Millions of Sensitive Records — Krebs on Security
An Amnesty International employee was the target of a "sophisticated surveillance campaign," the group believes, after the employee received a suspicious WhatsApp message containing a link that, if opened, would have installed "Pegasus" - a spyware tool developed by the NSO Group, an Israeli company known for developing the surveillance tool, which is the same one used to target UAE human rights rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, a.k.a. the “Million Dollar Dissident.” https://citizenlab.ca/2016/08/million-dollar-dissident-iphone-zero-day-nso-group-uae/ Amnesty: "In early June 2018, an Amnesty International staff member received a suspicious WhatsApp message in Arabic. The text contained details about an alleged protest outside the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C., followed by a link to a website. Investigations by Amnesty International’s technology team revealed that clicking the link would have, according to prior knowledge, installed 'Pegasus', a sophisticated surveillance tool developed by the Israel-based company NSO Group...The WhatsApp message was sent to Amnesty International in a week when the organization was campaigning for the release of six women’s rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia...The link, if clicked, would have allowed the Pegasus software to infect the user’s smartphone, tracking keystrokes, taking control of the phone’s cameras and microphone and accessing contact lists. Amnesty International’s investigation also discovered that another Saudi Arabia rights activist received a similar malicious message." Read more at the blog post linked above or access Amnesty's full research report here https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2018/08/amnesty-international-among-targets-of-nso-powered-campaign/.
Researchers find way to spy on remote screens—through the webcam mic | Ars Technica
What Onavo Protect DoesOnavo Protect was purchased by Facebook in 2013, for the express purpose of…you guessed it: mining your data.See, Facebook can track a lot of what you do on the web, but it can’t track what you do in other apps on your phone. When you turn Onavo Protect on, however, you are routing all of your internet traffic through Facebook’s servers, where the information is decrypted for them to see. The Wall Street Journalpublished an article about this last year, but you don’t even need to dig that much to find this out—Onavo Protect tells you about it when you first open the app.
Israeli spyware company is back to hacking journalists to impress clie
Windows 8 and Windows 10 contain a surprising feature that many users will find unwelcome: PC OEMs can embed a Windows executable in their system firmware. Windows 8 and 10 will then extract this executable during boot time and run it automatically. In this way, the OEM can inject software onto a Windows machine even if the operating system was cleanly installed. The good news is that most OEMs fortunately do not seem to take advantage of this feature. The bad news is that "most" is not "all." Between October 2014 and April of this year, Lenovo used this feature to preinstall software onto certain Lenovo desktop and laptop systems, calling the feature the "Lenovo Service Engine." Lenovo's own description of what the software did differs depending on whether the affected system is a desktop or a laptop. On desktops, the company claims that the software only sends some basic information (the system model, region, date, and a system ID) to a Lenovo server. This doesn't include any personally identifying information, but the system ID should be unique to each device. Lenovo says that this is a one-time operation and that the information gets sent only on a machine's first connection to the Internet. For laptops, however, the software does rather more. LSE on laptops installs the OneKey Optimizer (OKO) software that Lenovo bundles on many of its machines. OneKey Optimizer arguably falls into the "crapware" category. While OKO does do some somewhat useful system maintenance—it can update drivers, for example—it also offers to perform performance "optimizations" and cleaning "system junk files," which both seem to be of dubious value. Making this rather worse is that LSE and/or OKO appear to be insecure. Security issues, including buffer overflows and insecure network connections, were reported to Lenovo and Microsoft by researcher Roel Schouwenberg in April. In response, Lenovo has stopped including LSE on new systems (the company says that systems built since June should be clean). It has provided firmware updates for affected laptops and issued instructions on how to disable the option on desktops and clean up the LSE files.
Unsophisticated Android Spyware Monitors Device Sensors
Yes; but with the BS going on with telemetry, it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to buy GitHub to get everyone to use something with built-in spying functionality.

Spyware Company Exposed ‘281 Gigabytes’ of Children’s Photos Online - Motherboard
Ad tracking / spyware platform for games
Don’t Use Software to Spy on Your Spouse - Motherboard
Through Internet scanning, we found deep packet inspection (DPI) middleboxes on Türk Telekom’s network. The middleboxes were being used to redirect hundreds of users in Turkey and Syria to nation-state spyware when those users attempted to download certain legitimate Windows applications.
Spyware Company That Marketed To Domestic Abusers Gets Hacked - Motherboard

O&O ShutUp10
HijackThis Tutorial - How to use HijackThis to remove Browser Hijackers & Spyware
Teen phone monitoring app leaked thousands of user passwords | ZDNet
HPのPCにインストールされるスパイウェアの話。新しいSpectre 13を買う方へ傾いていたがどうしよう……。
Spyware Company Leaves ‘Terabytes’ of Selfies, Text Messages, and Location Data Exposed Online - Motherboard
In a recent study we analyzed seven “session replay” services and revealed how they exfiltrate sensitive user data. Here we release the data behind our study, specifically, the list of websites from the Alexa top 1 million which embed scripts from analytics providers that offer session recording services. The appearance of a website on this list DOES NOT necessarily mean that session recordings occur, as website developers may choose not enable session recording functionality.
Google Data Collection
InLinkUK kiosk
Browser Extensions Are a Privacy Nightmare: Stop Using So Many of Them
Everything with the topic 'When Spies Come Home' on Motherboard
I am one of the developers of a popular Chrome extension and we've been approached by malware companies that have tried to buy us. AMA! : IAmA
Remove that horrific OnePlus ODM spyware. adb shell and thenpm uninstall -k --user 0 net.oneplus.odmAlso herehttps://www.chrisdcmoore.co.uk/post/oneplus-analytics/https://www.reddit.com/r/oneplus/comments/4t20ri/oxygenos_reports_back_tons_of_data_with/
Selling a Google Chrome Extension is Easy but Monetizing is Tricky
Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type regedit, and click OK to open the registry.Browse the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows DefenderIf you don't see DWORD DisableAntiSpyware, right-click on an empty space, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the key DisableAntiSpyware.Double-click the newly created key, and set the value from 0 to 1.Then reboot--Testing 2017-10-10, because folders open, sort, etc. very slowly.With the registry value in place, folders sort etc. quickly again.
Amnesty International Targeted by NSO Spyware via WhatsApp
Obviously, when your are purposely using FaceTime, you expect the webcam and mic to turn on —along with the green LED light. But Wardle's argument is that if another application, say a spyware, turns on right after that, the user has no way of knowing he or she is being spied on. Apple declined to comment. Wardle's new tool is called Oversight, and all it does is monitor webcam and mic usage to detect when an application tries to access them, and notifies the user, who can then decide to allow the stream to go on, or block it. If there's malware on your laptop that's designed to activate only when you turn on your webcam and mic, Oversight will pop up two notifications, one for when FaceTime, Skype or another similar app launches, and one for when the malware turns on
How Israeli spyware tried to hack an Amnesty activist’s phone

Amnesty International staff targeted with malicious spyware

Don’t Use Facebook’s Onavo VPN: It’s Designed to Spy On You

Spanish football league defends phone 'spying' - BBC News

Lenovo used Windows anti-theft feature to install persistent crapware | Ars Technica

GitHub on Twitter: "We're thrilled to announce that we've entered into an acquisition agreement with @Microsoft! https://t.co/4DezuXTJfV… " | https://twitter.com/

China crams spyware on phones in Muslim-majority province | The Register

Red Shell

Apps for online safety are counterproductive

Facebook Has Lost the Plot – 500ish Words

BAD TRAFFIC: Sandvine’s PacketLogic Devices Used to Deploy Government Spyware in Turkey and Redirect Egyptian Users to Affiliate Ads?

‘Stalkerware’ Seller Shuts Down Apps ‘Indefinitely’ After Getting Hacked Again - Motherboard

Hacker Strikes ‘Stalkerware’ Companies, Stealing Alleged Texts and GPS Locations of Customers - Motherboard

How Tech is Failing Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: Thomas Ristenpart at CITP

Hacker Strikes ‘Stalkerware’ Companies, Stealing Alleged Texts and GPS Locations of Customers - Motherboard

Do Not, I Repeat, Do Not Download Onavo, Facebook's Vampiric VPN Service | Gizmodo Australia

A Hacker Has Wiped a Spyware Company’s Servers—Again - Motherboard

HijackThis Tutorial - How to use HijackThis to remove Browser Hijackers & Spyware

¿Cuál es la diferencia: malware, virus, gusanos, spyware, troyanos, ransomware, etc?

Yeelight, the Bluetooth LED Bedside Lamp from Xiaomi that Spies on You, Part One

HP quietly installs system-slowing spyware on its PCs

Permissionless data slurping: Why Google's latest bombshell matters • The Register

The latest threat to your online privacy: exfiltration of personal data by website session-replay scripts | Privacy Online News

List of websites that have third-party “session replay” scripts

Downloads - Support - Lavasoft

Downloads - The home of Spybot-S&D!

Kids' smartwatches banned in Germany over spying concerns

German government bans children's smartwatches, tells parents to destroy them - Help Net Security

Teardown of a consumer voice/location cellular spying device that fits in the tip of a USB cable / Boing Boing

Obsolete phone boxes | West Norwood News

Sean Parker: Facebook was designed to exploit human "vulnerability" : technology

Security and Privacy Experiences and Practices of Survivors of Intimate Partner Abuse - IEEE Journals & Magazine

When Spies Come Home - Motherboard

Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements – curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash


How to Uninstall Carrier/OEM Bloatware Without Root Access

tin foil hat time | musings of a word of faith conspiracy theorist

How to permanently disable Windows Defender on Windows 10 | Windows Central

Ex-NSA Hacker Creates Tool To Warn You Of Webcam Spies

Axolotl: A Keylogger for iPhone and Android – Tomas Reimers – Medium


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