FireEye uncovers cyber-plot to steal Syrian opposition’s military secrets

Attackers pose as sympathetic women to infiltrate devices, steal battle plans

Tags: Cyber crimeData leakageFireEye (www.fireeye.com)Syria
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FireEye uncovers cyber-plot to steal Syrian opposition’s military secrets Data thieves posed as ‘seemingly sympathetic and attractive women’.
By  Stephen McBride Published  February 4, 2015

ICT-security firm FireEye claims to have uncovered a cyber-plot that resulted in the theft of military plans belonging to opposition forces in Syria.

A report from the company's Threat Intelligence team, called "Behind the Syrian Conflict's Digital Front Lines", details the activities of an unknown group that targeted victims by posing as "seemingly sympathetic and attractive women". After some time the "women" would send the target a personal photo, laced with malware designed to infiltrate a PC or Android-based phone.

"While we cannot positively identify who is behind these attacks, we know that they used social media to infiltrate victims' machines and steal military information that would provide an advantage to President Assad's forces on the battlefield," said Nart Villeneuve, senior threat intelligence researcher at FireEye.

According to FireEye, between November 2013 and January 2014, the group stole "a cache of critical documents and Skype conversations revealing the Syrian opposition's strategy, tactical battle plans, supply needs, and troves of personal information and chat sessions". The data belonged not only to opposition forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but also media activists, humanitarian aid workers, and others within the opposition movement in Syria, the region and beyond.

FireEye's full report is available here.

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