The ‘new normal’? Spyware targeting civil society


Activists in Togo risk being targeted by shadowy cyber-mercenaries who use covert digital attacks to try and steal victims’ private information to sell to private clients, Amnesty International reports:

In a new report released today, Amnesty International reveals how fake Android applications and spyware-loaded emails tied to the notorious Donot Team hacker group were used to target a prominent Togolese human rights defender in an attempt to put them under unlawful surveillance. The discovery is the first time Donot Team spyware was found in attacks outside of South Asia. The investigation also discovered links between the spyware and infrastructure used in these attacks, and Innefu Labs, a cybersecurity company based in India. RTWT

The unchecked growth of the commercial spyware industry is providing repressive governments with new tools to surveil, harass, and attack independent journalists and their sources in a new battlefront against the free flow of information, according to the Center for International Media Assistance. The chilling effect of this is strongest in countries with a history of restricting free expression and weak legal and policy environments for safeguarding independent journalism, it observes in a new report, Spyware: An Unregulated and Escalating Threat to Independent Media by Samuel Woodhams (see above).



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