This post is an introduction to Asia Chats a research project analyzing
information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used
in Asia. The project will produce a series of reports that will begin
with a focus on WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk. Reports will include
analysis based on our technical investigation of censorship or
surveillance functionality, assessment of privacy issues surrounding
these applications’ use and storage of user data, and comparison of the
terms of service and privacy policies of the applications.
This blog post reports on a malware attack in which a compromised version of Kakao Talk, an Android-based mobile messaging client, was sent in a highly-targeted email to a prominent individual in the Tibetan community. The malware is designed to send a user’s contacts, SMS message history, and cellular network location to attackers. This post was updated on 18 April 2013.