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Cyberattacks on Middle Eastern Websites Linked to Israeli Spyware Firm Candiru

High-Profile Mid-East websites experienced cyber attacks and it is believed to be linked with the Israeli Spyware firm Candiru

by Shah Farouq
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An analysis by cybersecurity firm Eset stated that technology sold by the Israeli spyware company Candiru was linked to a campaign of cyberattacks that targeted high-profile Middle Eastern websites.

According to The Times Of Israel, Eset investigator, Matthieu Faou, said the attacks were carried out by one Candiru’s clients.

However, Eset did not name who the client was, but informed that an investigation by researchers at the University of Toronto suggested that in June, Saudi Arabia may have used the same techniques.

Candiru which is based in Tel Aviv, sells sophisticated spyware mostly to governments and it was recently blacklisted by the US government earlier this month.

Eset revealed that the method of attack used by these “cyber-criminals” are known as “watering-hole” attacks, that adds malicious codes to websites that the targeted users were likely visit.

The code which has been placed could then be used to infect the victim’s computer, once the person visits the site which eventually allows cyber-criminals to spy on them or inflict harm in other ways.

Eset further explained that there are several websites which were targeted in this campaign and includes Yemeni media outlets like Almasirah linked to the Houthi rebels battling the Saudis, UK-based news site Middle East Eye as well as thesaudireality.com, a dissident media outlet in Saudi Arabia.

Eset stated in a press release that the attackers also created a website mimicking a medical trade fair in Germany, and that the intrusions were recorded between July 2020 and August this year.

Faou said the Candiru campaign did not appear to be aimed at mass data collection, and specifically targeted a “very, very small” number of people.

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