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Advanced iOS virus targeting Hong Kong protesters: security firm

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posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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BOSTON (Reuters) - Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered a computer virus that spies on Apple Inc's iOS operating system for the iPhone and iPad, and they believe it is targeting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The malicious software, known as Xsser, is capable of stealing text messages, photos, call logs, passwords and other data from Apple mobile devices, researchers with Lacoon Mobile Security said on Tuesday.

They uncovered the spyware while investigating similar malware for Google Inc's Android operating system last week that also targeted Hong Kong protesters. Anonymous attackers spread the Android spyware via WhatsApp, sending malicious links to download the program, according to Lacoon.

It is unclear how iOS devices get infected with Xsser, which is not disguised as an app.

Lacoon Chief Executive Michael Shaulov told Reuters that Xsser is the most sophisticated malware used to date in any known cyberattack on iOS users.

"This is one the most interesting developments we have seen," he said. "It’s the first real indication that really sophisticated guys are shifting from infecting PCs or laptops to going after iOS devices."

The code used to control that server is written in Chinese. The high quality of the campaign and the fact it is being used to target protesters suggests that it is coming from a sophisticated attacker in China, Shaulov said.

"It is the first time in history that you actually see an operationalized iOS Trojan that is attributed to some kind of Chinese entity," he said.

A Trojan is a term used by cyber researchers to describe malware that enters a device disguised as something harmless.

Still, he said that his company's research team has yet to identify any specific victims of the iOS Trojan.

Lacoon said on its blog that it is possible the attackers might have deployed the Trojan in other places, in addition to spying on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"It can cross borders easily, and is possibly being operated by a Chinese-speaking entity to spy on individuals, foreign companies, or even entire governments," they said in a blog post describing their analysis.
Yahoo Link

Is this the start of directed targeting by others for anything they disagree with?

I don't have an i phone, nor do I ever want to get one but I do not feel that will protect me from the way these modern systems have been integrated and tied to everything. My own personal electronics can someday be used against me if I don't remain the passive little student of self control and obedience like they want me to.

Years ago I was thrown off of F@#$book for discussing safety issues with the TSA and how 5 people could sneak a bomb onto a jet undetected. It was a closed discussion between me and 5 friends, I even notified the TSA of the breach in security so they could fix the problem and be more aware of it's existence. I was deleted 10 minutes later with no return e-mails from anyone in their staff. They didn't like what I was talking about and that was enough.

This trend is not one that I'm happy about. What's next, is my account and postings to ATS going to get my phone infected if I see or say the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in the wrong place?

I wonder if situations like Ferguson had these issues but were undetected by the public?

AB

edit on 10/1/2014 by AnteBellum because: who cares




posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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Maybe the FBI Director should read this story so he can get into IOS devices that are supposed to be encrypted with no backdoor for law enforcement as he stated a few days ago. No phone/computer is safe from someone with the knowledge/tools available today.



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:38 PM
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It only affects jailbroken IOS.



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 03:20 PM
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originally posted by: BugOut
Maybe the FBI Director should read this story so he can get into IOS devices that are supposed to be encrypted with no backdoor for law enforcement as he stated a few days ago. No phone/computer is safe from someone with the knowledge/tools available today.


So I am thinking the FBI is a trusted source for what they can and cannot get into? The obvious smart thing is to automatically assume they have access to everything. I know for sure they have moving keystroke loggers within memory as to pass virus detection, and if they think it is that big of a threat they just pick up your machine, and sometimes you. It's crazy to think they use our own endless supply of money to hack our equipment. We have to quit electing the criminals that appoint them.



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