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Syrian Dissidents Hit By Another Wave of Targeted State-Sponsored Attacks 54

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-giving-up dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "One of the attackers who has been targeting Syrian anti-government activists with malware and surveillance tools has returned and upped the ante with the use of the BlackShades RAT, a remote-access tool that gives him the ability to spy on victims machines through keylogging and screenshots. The original attacks against Syrian activists, who are working against the government's months-long violent crackdown, were using another RAT known as Xtreme RAT, with similar capabilities. That malware was being spread through a couple of different targeted attacks, including one in which activists were directed to YouTube videos and their account credentials were then stolen when they logged in to leave comments. That attack continued with the installation of the RAT, giving the attacker surreptitious access to the victims' machines, enabling him to monitor their activities online. Now, researchers say that at least one attacker who is known to be involved in these targeted attacks also is using the BlackShades RAT in a new set of attacks."
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Syrian Dissidents Hit By Another Wave of Targeted State-Sponsored Attacks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:17PM (#40391685)

    So relax, take it easy !!

  • burn the Tails TOR distro to cd so it's read only. And do basic, common sense stuff like using disposable accounts to post publicly (signing content so people can trust the authenticity of the posts)?

  • I have to question the accuracy of this submission; If they're directed to YouTube and that is the source of the drive-by infection, then that means that everyone who uses YouTube globally would be vulnerable to this, not just Syrian dissidents. It would also require the cooperation of Google; Which in turn means this is tandamount to an admission that the US government is helping Syria track down it's political dissidents. Historically, we have invested a lot of intelligence resources to help those disside
  • Do some good. Load those low orbit ion cannons, ddos the Syrian Govt's capacity.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      AHahaha...yeah the script kiddies. Oh sure. Yep they're out doing good stuff again. So anyway, I mean the rebels are out doing things like trying to get reporters killed too [channel4.com]. But hey, whatever. Pallywood everywhere!

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Oh yea, a bunch of foul mouth teenager with cmd.exe ping are going to save the day.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you still believe in Syrian "dissidents", watch this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGYTM9-DSEI#t=36m02s

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Yah I love the part where he tries to drag "building 7" into it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @06:29PM (#40391793)

    This is a propaganda war as much as anything, and I don't have any evidence to believe either side.

    Perhaps the Syrian government is not installing this software. Perhaps the activists are installing it to make the Syrian government look bad.

    I have only an absence of evidence (impartially gathered and analysed), and that means I should believe no-one's conclusions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      man, we missed you in threads about OWS. you could have accused protesters of dressing up as police and pepper spraying their friends. where were you?

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:10PM (#40393607)

      Read the English-language Al Jazeera [aljazeera.com]. They are a fantastic source for whenever you are worried that your views on the Middle East are being colored by Western propaganda.

      • Read the English-language Al Jazeera [aljazeera.com]. They are a fantastic source for whenever you are worried that your views on the Middle East are being colored by Western propaganda.

        When you need to have your spectrum re-tinted by Middle Eastern propaganda. Everyone has an agenda.

    • This is a propaganda war as much as anything, and I don't have any evidence to believe either side.

      Comments like this really, really piss me off. The thing is, you *do* have information, or rather, you have information if you want it. You have what the Syrian people do not have- free access to the internet- which means that you can go to Google News, type in something like "Syria Internet Surveillance" and in a second have all the information you want, and then think critically about what it all means. There are lots of articles about Syria spying on its citizens, there are dozens of articles about Weste

  • oppresses its citizens..

    news at *yawn* 6...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do we have any way to really know for sure that the Syrian government are the bad guys here?
    Why should we assume that the "dissidents" are preferable?
    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      Because they work for CIA, the good guys!

    • Do there have to be good guys? Can't all sides be bad?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do we have any way to really know for sure that the Syrian government are the bad guys here? Why should we assume that the "dissidents" are preferable?

      I guess the fact that a gov. is butchering their citizens makes them a bad guy. But, hey, I am guessing that you are with Iran, Russia, China, or North Korea?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is a fantastic question, and indeed, the first question that ought to be asked in any discussion about Syria.

      First of all, the idea that a revolution in a Muslim country would be anything even close to the Velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia (which resulted in Czech & Slovakia amicably separating) is one of the most inane assumptions anyone could make of Muslims. In Tunisia, where the Arab Spring started, this [adnkronos.com] is [ansamed.info] what [ansamed.info] is [ansamed.info] going [alarabiya.net] on [ansamed.info] today [eurasiareview.com] - from a country that was always assumed to be very Westerni

  • I took a look at TFA, and saw exactly what I expected: the malware is specifically designed to attack computers running Windows. Now, I'll admit that that's reasonable, considering how big Microsoft's market share is, but it does lead to an interesting suggestion: get the dissidents to move to Linux, at least as dual-boot, and only use Linux for their political activities. Not because Linux is immune to malware, but because it's immune to the specific malware they need to be concerned about. And, if they
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Except that the people of Syria don't speak Farsi - not even the Shia or Alawites. Although there may be Arabic localization in some of the lead distros.
      • Yeah, I kinda figured that. However, the distro does come with the appropriate fonts by default, and the maintainers would probably see nothing wrong with adding an Arabic spin. The important thing, IMO, is getting them away from using a vulnerable OS for their political activities.
  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:39PM (#40392757)

    Yes, it matters.

    Even the US military "gets" that Windows machines at home aren't at all secure and offers this nifty distro. Free download, and if you are USian your taxes were actually spent well for a change:

    http://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm [dod.mil]

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