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Bahraini regime uses UK-made spy software to crush dissent

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by KABAVAKO, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. KABAVAKO

    KABAVAKO JF-Expert Member

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Joined: Apr 5, 2011
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    A British surveillance software company called Gamma International has supplied the Bahraini regime with spy software that has been used against pro-democracy protesters. Pro-democracy protesters across the Middle East and North Africa have turned to social sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Skype since two years ago to communicate with each other and with the outside world. This prompted dictatorial regimes hit by growing wave of pro-democracy movements to do everything to infiltrate the movements, hack their members’ internet accounts and spy on them in their attempt to silence dissent. The Bahraini regime sent emails to activists and human rights defenders which contained attachments and those attachments were pieces of malware - software secretly installed on the activists’ computers and designed to spy on them. The attachments sent to activists were analysed by researchers at the University of Toronto. They found that the attachments were made by the UK-based firm - Gamma International, and the product was called FinFisher. “The way that we've seen the tool deployed is through emails that contain attachments, an encouragement by the sender of the email to open the attachment. The attachment is actually of course a Trojan”, said one of the researchers. “So they are used to steal documents, they are used to steal email credentials, intercept instant messaging. They are used to steal Facebook credentials, Twitter credentials. Used also for intercepting Skype calls”, the researcher added. They found through more investigations that FinSpy could also take control of mobile devices in the form of FinSpy Mobile. “It gives whoever's operating it the ability to enable your phone's microphone, look at your phone's GPS and locating system and generally record all the other activity that you do on the device”, the University of Toronto researchers said. “So FinSpy would allow someone remotely to turn your mobile phone into a bugging device capable of listening in on any conversation or meeting you have”, they added. This is not the first time Gamma International has come under scrutiny. Last year, Egyptian human rights activists found documents linking. source: PressTV - Bahraini regime uses UK-made spy software to crush dissent the company to the Mubarak regime when they broke into the State Security Investigations Service headquarter
     
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