Dubbed Endless Mayfly, the operators spoofed legitimate news outlets and disseminated fake stories through social media accounts. Once the articles had gained traction, they were deleted and the links were redirected to the domain being impersonated. This “ephemeral disinformation” technique provided the veneer of legitimacy while obscuring the origins of the fake narratives.
In the Media
Citizen Lab staff and research in the news.
A recently discovered security vulnerability on WhatsApp, currently used by over 1.5 billion people worldwide, has been found to have been exploited by NSO Group developed spyware.
Spyware developer NSO Group is usually quick to dismiss the evidence that its customers have abused its Pegasus mobile phone spyware. This pattern of denials was repeated in a recent 60 Minutes investigation, which gives a rare look into NSO Group’s management.
A recent New York Times article investigates how authoritarian states target citizens and dissidents with sophisticated spyware, developed within a secretive, multi-billion dollar industry.
The window of a murdered Mexican journalist was targeted with Pegasus, a spyware product which can secretly access the contents of a phone and turn on its camera and microphone.
Citizen Lab research associate Christopher Parsons, in conversation with CBC Radio Spark, comments on the security concerns associated with Huawei technology should it be used in Canada’s 5G infrastructure.
Over the last month, two Citizen Lab staff members were contacted by two separate individuals in what appears to be an attempt to compromise our work. Each of the contacts purported to show an interest in the staff members’ personal, non-Citizen Lab related interests, and presented themselves as serious and professional.
Citizen Lab senior research fellow Bill Marczak and Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz joined CNN to discuss how NSO’s Pegasus spyware found on Omar’s phone is linked to Jamal Khashoggi.
Following a Citizen Lab report that identified the presence of NSO’s Pegasus spyware technology in Quebec, researchers contacted Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi Arabian dissident and Canadian permanent resident who has long been critical of the regime in Riyadh. After an extensive investigation, they discovered that his phone had been targeted with this powerful spyware and the operators of the technology were linked to Saudi Arabia’s government and security services.
The Citizen Lab’s Ron Deibert and Sarah McKune don’t mince words in a recent op-ed for Just Security about Google’s plan to create a search engine that conforms to China’s demand for censorship.