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EFF activists targeted in attack

A recent malware campaign targeted American journalists and activists from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

 

According to the Register, the attacks were by “state-aligned actors” from Vietnam and targeted against foreign activists and journalists. The attack, using an email lure, invited activists to an Oxfam conference in Asia. The malware contained malicious links and attachments and was only detected by one anti-virus technology in 47, according to VirusTotal.

 

EFF attributed the attacks to a group known as “Sinh Tử Lệnh”, which has been active since 2009, and is believed to comprise of Chinese attackers but is “more likely the work of Vietnamese targeting Vietnamese,” EFF said.

 

In its statement, the EFF said: “EFF is greatly disturbed to see targeted malware campaigns hitting so close to home. While it is clear that this group has been targeted members of the Vietnamese diaspora for some time, these campaigns indicate that journalists and US activists are also under attack. And while long time activists and journalists might expect to be targeted by a state they regularly criticise, it appears that a single blog post is enough to make you a target for Vietnamese spying.”

 

Commenting, Yuval Ben Itzhak, CTO at AVG, told IT Security Guru that such people are “always an easy target, as they do not have the knowledge and budget to do security themselves.”

 

He said: “There will be Governments interested in what they are doing. Previously, there was interest from Asia in activities but in the West they are more interested in monitoring and controlling. I am not surprised this has happened again as there are new drivers and more information about vulnerabilities.”

About Dan Raywood

Dan Raywood is the editor in chief of the IT Security Guru. A journalist with more than 13 years experience, Dan has been at the forefront of the information security industry.

As the news editor of SC Magazine he covered breaking stories such as Stuxnet, Flame and Conficker and the online hacktivist campaigns of Anonymous and LulzSec, and broke the news on the EU’s mandatory data breach disclosure law and a vulnerability which affected more than 200 sites.

Contact Dan on dan@itsecurityguru.org, by phone on 0207 1832 839