Search Results for “Reuters”

April 28, 2020
Joel Schectman, Christopher Bing, Jack Stubbs / Reuters

Joel Schectman, Christopher Bing, Jack Stubbs / Reuters  
Many Surveillance and Cyberintelligence Firms Are Marketing Repurposed Law Enforcement Hacking Tools to Track Coronavirus Infections and Enforce Quarantines

At least eight surveillance and cyberintelligence companies are attempting to sell repurposed surveillance and law enforcement hacking tools to track the coronavirus and enforce quarantines, based on documents and interviews Reuters obtained.  Among those companies identified by Reuters as marketing their hacking and surveillance software to countries around the globe are Intellexa, Verint, NSO Group, Rayzone Group, Cobwebs Technologies, Patternz, and Cellebrite. Israeli mobile phone hacking software company Cellebrite is offering its mobile phone hacking and surveillance capability to help authorities learn who a coronavirus sufferer may have infected.  According to a Cellebrite email pitch to the Delhi police force this month, authorities can siphon up coronavirus-positive patients’ location data and contacts, making it easy to “quarantine the right people.” Although the company sees this tracking as done with users’ consent, they also concede that police can use their tools to hack into confiscated devices. Cellebrite is also offering a version of its product line for use by healthcare workers to trace the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, but says the tools can only be used with patient consent and can’t hack phones. Israel is the only country known to be testing a mass surveillance system pitched by the companies, asking NSO Group, one of the industry’s most prominent players, to help build its platform.

Related: Reuters, AppleInsider, iTnews – Security, MacDailyNews, CNBC Technology

Tweets:@jc_stubbs @howelloneill @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @joel_schectman @razhael @ron_deibert @ericgeller

Reuters: Tracing COVID-19
AppleInsider: Cellebrite pitching iPhone hacking tools as a way to stop COVID-19
iTnews – Security: Special Report: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus
MacDailyNews: Cellebrite pitches governments iPhone spy tools for coronavirus contact tracing
CNBC Technology: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus

@jc_stubbs: NEW: Company documents reviewed by Reuters show at least 8 cyber-intelligence firms, better known for selling hacking and surveillance tools, are now pitching coronavirus-tracking products to governments around the world with @joel_schectman @Bing_Chris
@howelloneill: What's really weird about this is the governments refusing to name the tech they're buying here. There's no national security risk, coronavirus is not changing tactics because of surveillance. What's the justification for the lack of transparency?
@bing_chris: Cellebrite, a firm which gained fame for producing a iPhone hacking tool for law enforcement, .... has entered the coronavirus market. Now pitching a solution to hack phones of infected persons, emails reviewed by Reuters show
@bing_chris: Cellebrite is not alone. Through source interviews and reviewing documents, Reuters found 8 companies playing in this domain: turning spy tools into coronavirus tracking platforms. They include: intelligence companies Verint, NSO, Intellexa, and others
@bing_chris: We’re in a new world that some argue calls for novel surveillance methods. Several governments are considering bulk telco collection techniques to track infections and force quarantines:
@bing_chris: But privacy advocates worry about an environment where intelligence firms expand their reach and product adoption. Sources tell us multiple projects are ongoing in Asia, South America and Europe. What could this mean after the virus subsides?
@bing_chris: This is all happening while senior officials in multiple countries are opening the doors to telco-based mass surveillance solutions to combat the spread of the virus. He’s what that sounds like:
@joel_schectman: NOW: Instead of tracking terrorists and criminals, Israeli spyware companies say want to help governments monitor coronavirus patients. @Bing_Chris @jc_stubbs
@razhael: You’ve heard of the NSO Group’s effort to repurpose its surveillance solution for COVID-19 contact tracing. New reporting from @Reuters shows that it’s one of many cyber-intelligence companies retooling to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis. MicrobeMobile phone?
@ron_deibert: Special Report: Cyber-intel firms pitch governments on spy tools to trace coronavirus
@ericgeller: Great story by @joel_schectman, @Bing_Chris, and @jc_stubbs about how the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating surveillance vendors' mission creep. As @HowellONeill points out, there's no need for secrecy here. Vendors should be held accountable.

April 15, 2020
Anshuman Daga, Imani Moise / Reuters

Anshuman Daga, Imani Moise / Reuters  
Standard Chartered Becomes First Major Bank to Tell Employees to Steer Clear of Zoom Video Calls

London-based Standard Chartered is the first major global bank to tell employees not to use Zoom Video Communications during the coronavirus pandemic due to cybersecurity concerns, according to a memo seen by Reuters. The message sent to bank managers last week by Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters also warned against using Alphabet’s Google Hangouts platform for virtual gatherings.

March 23, 2020
Raphael Satter, Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Raphael Satter, Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Hackers Tried to Break into World Health Organization as Agency Comes Under Two-Fold Increase in Cyberattacks

Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier this month, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks. WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said the identity of the hackers was unclear, and the effort was unsuccessful. Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and attorney with the New York-based Blackstone Law Group, which tracks suspicious internet domain registration activity, brought the attempted WHO break-in to Reuters’ attention. He picked up on the activity around March 13 when a group of hackers he had been following activated a malicious site mimicking the WHO’s internal email system. The same malicious web infrastructure belonging to a hacking group known as DarkHotel had also been used to target other healthcare and humanitarian organizations in recent weeks, although it’s unclear if DarkHotel is connected to the WHO hacking.

Related:,, Slashdot, Boing Boing, The Hill: Cybersecurity, Business Insider

Tweets:@bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris @bing_chris

May 8, 2020
Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
Iran’s Charming Kitten Hacking Group Has Targeted Staff at Drugmaker Gilead Sciences as the Company Races to Develop COVID-19 Treatment

Hackers linked to Iran have targeted staff at U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences in recent weeks as the company races to develop a COVID-19 treatment, an antiviral drug called remdesivir, according to publicly-available web archives reviewed by Reuters and three cybersecurity researchers. A fake email login page designed to steal passwords was sent in April to a top Gilead executive involved in legal and corporate affairs according to an archived version of a website that searches for malicious links. The hacking infrastructure and the targeted phishing campaign used in the attempt to compromise the Gilead executive’s email account has previously been used in cyberattacks by a group of suspected Iranian hackers known as “Charming Kitten.” Iran has denied any involvement in the hacking effort.

May 8, 2020
Michelle Martin and Joseph Nasr / Reuters

Michelle Martin and Joseph Nasr / Reuters  
Russia’s GRU Hacked and Copied Two Email Inboxes Belonging to Germany’s Angela Merkel in 2015 Hacking Incident, Report

Russia’s GRU military intelligence service appears to have got hold of many emails from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituency office in a 2015 hack attack on Germany’s parliament, Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reports. Federal criminal police and the federal cyber agency had been able to reconstruct the attack partially and found that two email inboxes from Merkel’s office had been targeted and copied. They contained email correspondence from 2012 to 2015. German federal prosecutors issued an arrest warrant earlier this week for an individual linked to the 2015 hacking incident.

April 17, 2020
Joseph Menn / Reuters

Joseph Menn / Reuters  
Hacking Attempts Against Corporations More Than Doubled in March Due to Rise of Vulnerable Workers at Home

Hacking attempts against corporations in the U. S. and other countries increased by 148%  by some measures last month as digital thieves took advantage of security weakened by pandemic work-from-home policies, researchers at VMWare Carbon Black said. Likewise, Finland’s Arctic Security found that the number of networks experiencing malicious activity more than doubled in March in the United States and many European countries compared with January.

Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
FBI Official Says That Foreign Government Hackers Have Broken Into Companies Conducting COVID-19 Treatment Research

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Tonya Ugoretz said that foreign government hackers have broken into companies conducting research into treatments for COVID-19. Ugoretz said during an online panel discussion hosted by the Aspen Institute that the bureau had recently seen state-backed hackers poking around a series of healthcare and research institutions and that hackers had often targeted the biopharmaceutical industry.

Related: Reddit – cybersecurity, Forbes, Security News | Tech TimesWashington Examiner, Daily Mail,, Silicon UK, Tickle The Wire,

May 5, 2020
Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters

Jack Stubbs, Christopher Bing / Reuters  
NCSC and CISA Warn That Chinese, Iranian and Russian Hackers Are Targeting Pharmaceutical Companies, Research Groups, and Local Governments to Steal Information About Coronavirus Containment Efforts

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in a joint statement that state-backed hackers had targeted pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, and local governments to steal valuable information about efforts to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. Although neither government organization said which foreign adversaries are involved, one U.S. official and one UK official said the warning was in response to intrusion attempts by suspected Chinese and Iranian hackers, as well as some Russian-linked activity.

Related: Daily Mail, ZDNet, Mirror, Cyberscoop, Bleeping Computer, The Hill: Cybersecurity, Meritalk, City A.M. – Technology, iNews, Cyber News Group, Infosecurity Magazine, The Sun, Homeland Security Today, NCSC


Daily Mail : Cybersecurity agencies warn of criminals targeting…
ZDNet: Security warning: State-backed hackers are trying to steal coronavirus research
Mirror: Hackers targeting coronavirus health workers in the UK and US, officials warn
Cyberscoop: State-linked hacking continues amid race for coronavirus treatments, US and UK agencies warn
Bleeping Computer : Nation-state hackers are targeting COVID-19 response orgs
The Hill: Cybersecurity: Authorities warn that hackers are targeting healthcare and essential services
Meritalk : US, UK Issue Cyber Warning to Healthcare Organizations – MeriTalk
City A.M. – Technology: Rival states launch cyber attacks on UK and US coronavirus labs
iNews : Coronavirus: ‘Clear evidence’ cyber criminals are targeting healthcare organisations tackling Covid-19 – iNews
Cyber News Group: ‘Bad State Actors’ attempting to steal Coronavirus research, outlines UK NCSC
Infosecurity Magazine: State Hackers Target UK Unis for #COVID19 Vaccine Research
The Sun: Scammers from hostile states and cyber criminals trying to hack UK agencies to steal secrets and research, Raab says
Homeland Security Today: CISA, NCSC Warn That APT Groups Target Healthcare and Essential Services
NCSC: Cyber warning issued for key healthcare organisations in UK and USA

@CISAGov: We partnered with @NCSC UK to expose how password spraying is another tactic used by malicious actors to access accounts and compromise credentials of healthcare and essential services sector:

Thomas Escritt / Reuters

Thomas Escritt / Reuters  
German Authorities Issue Arrest Warrant for Russian GRU Operative Dmitry Badin on Suspicion of Hacking Into Germany’s Parliament, Badin Also Wanted by U.S. Related to 2016 DNC Hacking

German federal prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Dmitry Badin, who they suspect of hacking into the German parliament’s computer systems in 2015 on behalf of Russia’s GRU intelligence service, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday. U.S. authorities are also seeking Badin for hacking into the email accounts of the Democratic Party and officials in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election. The newspaper said investigators were “certain” that Badin, 29, was also involved in the April 2015 hack attack on Germany’s Bundestag parliament.

Related: RT News, ZDNet Security, bellingcat, Underground Tradecraft

Tweets:@Timo_Steffens @hatr @hatr