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Kaspersky Lab identifies targeted attack against political activists

Designed to steal contacts, messages and other information from mobile devices

By CBR Staff Writer

Kaspersky Lab has identified a new targeted attack against Uyghur activists exploiting malware in Android based devices. The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia.

The attack is designed to steal the private data including the information from the address book and messaging history from infected smartphones and transfer it to the command and control server, Kaspersky claimed.

According to the anti-virus company, the design and action of the attack is same as other attacks used for exploiting the data from DOC, XLS or PDF documents for Windows-based computers or Macs, but is aimed at mobile devices.

The attack was started in the end of March 2013 and is claimed to be launched against a high-profile Tibetan activist.

Spear-phishing emails were sent to the victim’s contact list from a hacked account that targeted Mongolian, Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur political activists, and had attached an .APK file containing a malicious programme for Android devices.

Based on the investigation of the malware, it was found that the threat was designed by Chinese-speaking authors, according to the comments in the code and some characteristics of the command and control server, according to Kaspersky.

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