New Android Cyberwarfare Attack Exposed—And It’s Hiding A Devious Twist
Earlier this week, the New York Times covered what it referred to as an “attack on Egyptian journalists, academics, lawyers, opposition politicians and human rights activists.” The report was based on recent research by Check Point, which in turn followed a report by Amnesty from March of this year.
Check Point found ample evidence suggesting that Egypt’s General Intelligence Service was responsible for a cyber campaign targeting civil society in Egypt via spyware applications that were covertly installed on victims’ Android phones. However, the cybersecurity firm believes there may be more to the story. In fact, precisely because the company’s researchers found an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to Egypt’s spy agency, the company says that an unknown actor may have tried to make it look like an effort by the Egyptian regime. Lotem Finkelstein of Check Point says that the research team “saw too many obvious fingerprints in this operation, the infrastructure, the servers, the applications that carried the attack. Fingerprints that led us to the Egyptian government.” Because everything seemed way too obvious, the researchers “are afraid someone is trying to put this on Egypt.” They cannot be sure at this point, but the way the attack was carried out, resembles the modus operandi of Iranian state-backed hacking groups.