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Kaspersky Uncovers Cyber-Spying Campaign Against Middle East Political Activists

© Sputnik / Vladimir Fedorenko / Go to the photo bankLogo of the Kaspersky Lab antivirus software developer.
Logo of the Kaspersky Lab antivirus software developer. - Sputnik International
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SINGAPORE (Sputnik) - Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity giant has uncovered a cyberespionage operation by a politically motivated Arab-speaking Gaza cybergang group that mainly targeted the Middle East and North Africa, Amin Hasbini, the head of Middle East Research Center at the company's Global Research and Analysis Team, said.

Speaking at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit 2019 in Singapore, Hasbini said that the operation was most active during April to November 2018 and went by the name SneakyPastes.

READ MORE: Asus Software Update Platform Hacked, Used to Spread Malware — Kaspersky Lab

SneakyPastes used the technique called phishing — sending out mass emails in an attempt to install malware on people's computers — to gain access to sensitive information.

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Hasbini said that about 240 people and organizations in 39 countries fell prey to the group's cyberespionage campaign and they all had some sort of connections to political interests in the Middle East. These included government agencies, political parties, embassies, diplomatic representatives, schools, banks and media. The majority of the cyberattack targets were in Palestine, Jordan, Israel and Libya.

According to the senior researcher, the Gaza cybergang was comprised of at least three cyberespionage groups: Operation Parliament, Desert Falcons and MoleRats.

The company had shared its research with law enforcement which helped the governments eliminate some of the infrastructure which fell under attack by the Gaza cybergang.

The Kaspersky Security Analysit Summit is an annual event attended by international anti-malware researchers, global law enforcement agencies and senior executives from financial services, technology and government agencies. This year the event runs from Monday to Thursday.

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