View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
August 19, 2014

The Syrian civil war is spilling over online

Political activists do battle by spreading malware through Middle East.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Political activists connected to the Syrian civil war are launching cyber attacks using remote access tools (RAT), according to security firm Kaspersky.

Shock videos, fake security software and instant messaging are said to be used by hackers to spread the viruses, with attackers operating from Syria, Russia and Lebanon.

Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team said: "The threat actors are becoming more organized, the number of attacks is increasing and the samples being used are becoming more sophisticated, while also relying extensively on powerful social engineering tricks that many people fall for."

It added that a leaked paper allegedly from Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime warning military units of chemical attacks is also used to spread viruses by email.

Victims are said to number more than 10,000, with some of the malicious files being downloaded in excess of 2,000 times. Recipients live throughout the Middle East, but also further afield in France, Morocco and the US.

"The victims infected when accessing the hacked forums and social networking sites tend to be ordinary users or activists, or specific targets if they receive the malware via email, Skype, or messages on social networking sites," Kaspersky added.

Content from our partners
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline
How hackers’ tactics are evolving in an increasingly complex landscape

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.