Smartphone malware targeting Pakistani officials, says report

Published: October 23, 2019
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BlackBerry identifies espionage campaigns attempting to steal sensitive data from mobile devices. PHOTO: FILE

BlackBerry identifies espionage campaigns attempting to steal sensitive data from mobile devices. PHOTO: FILE

A security firm said on Wednesday that fake smartphone apps laden with malware were targeting Pakistan’s military and government.

A report by Canadian company BlackBerry identified new espionage campaigns attempting to steal sensitive data from mobile devices, according to Associated Press.

BlackBerry did not identify who’s responsible for the campaigns but said it likely involved state-sponsored hacking groups.

The report, as quoted by AP, said one of the fake apps promised news about Kashmir.

New Delhi revoked the Indian Occupied Kashmir’s special status on August 5, detaining thousands and cutting off telecommunications for days.

Selective policing: Internet shutdown in Kashmir and beyond

Other fake apps mimicked a pornography website, a dating chat service and a disaster relief organisation called the Ansar Foundation.

The apps often utilised Google’s Android operating system and were distributed through email or on social media messaging services such as WhatsApp.

The report also outlined ongoing smartphone malware campaigns in other parts of the world in which hackers appear to be acting in the interests of the Chinese, Iranian, Vietnamese and North Korean governments.

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