Targeted Threats

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Investigations into the prevalence and impact of digital espionage operations against civil society groups.

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The NSO connection to Jamal Khashoggi

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.

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Nile Phish: Large-Scale Phishing Campaign Targeting Egyptian Civil Society

This report discusses the targeting of Egyptian NGOs by Nile Phish, a large-scale phishing campaign. Almost all of the targets we identified are also implicated in Case 173, a sprawling legal case brought by the Egyptian government against NGOs, which has been referred to as an “unprecedented crackdown” on Egypt’s civil society. Nile Phish operators demonstrate an intimate knowledge of Egyptian NGOs, and are able to roll out phishing attacks within hours of government actions, such as arrests.

Social Engineering Attacks on Government Opponents

Citizen Lab Senior Research Fellow Bill Marczak has co-authored a paper titled “Social Engineering Attacks on Government Opponents: Target Perspectives,” along with Vern Paxson of UC Berkeley.

It’s Parliamentary: KeyBoy and the targeting of the Tibetan Community

In this report we track a malware operation targeting members of the Tibetan Parliament that used known and patched exploits to deliver a custom backdoor known as KeyBoy. We analyze multiple versions of KeyBoy revealing a development cycle focused on avoiding basic antivirus detection.