A new report from the Munk School’s Citizen Lab reveals a sophisticated international cyber-espionage campaign targeting journalists and activists whose work concerns the United Arab Emirates. The campaign used elaborate ruses, including fake organizations and journalists, to engage targets online, then entice them to open malicious files and links containing malware capable of monitoring their activities.

The campaign, which the researchers name Stealth Falcon, was first uncovered when a fictitious organization named “The Right to Fight” contacted Rori Donaghy, a UK-based journalist and founder of the Emirates Center for Human Rights. Building from this discovery, the Citizen Lab team, led by senior researcher Bill Marczak, uncovered an elaborate web of fake social media handles and organizations.

Read the full report.
Read the press release.
Read blog post from Citizen Lab Director Ronald Deibert.

Follow this report in the news:

Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents (New York Times)

Citizen Lab researchers uncover extensive Twitter cyber espionage campaign (U of T News)

Stealth Falcon APT Targets UAE Journalists, Activists and Dissidents (Softpedia)

Analysis: Turns Out That Maybe You Shouldn’t Trust the ‘Media’ (Chicago Tribune)

Cyber espionage group Stealth Falcon targeting UAE dissidents with spyware (International Business Times)

Governments turn to commercial spyware to intimidate opponents (Taipei Times)

The 90s Hacking Trick Making a Comeback (Motherboard)

News You Might Have Missed: Dystopian Edition (Forbes)

Stealth Falcon: New Malware from (Probably) the UAE (Schneier on Security)