Cyber espionage campaign targets India, Pakistan: report

Cyber espionage campaign targets India, Pakistan: report
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A sustained cyber espionage campaign targeting India and Pakistan has been uncovered by a cybersecurity company, Reuters reports

Symantec disclosed the spying campaign in a threat intelligence report delivered to clients last month. Reuters, which obtained a copy of the analysis, reported that the company described the suspected state-sponsored campaign as targeting regional security organizations in both countries.

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The campaign was detected as far back as October 2016. 

The company said in a statement to The Hill that it does not comment publicly on analysis delivered confidentially to clients. 

"Symantec has substantial investments in complex malware analysis, adversary intelligence and attribution," Symantec said. "We provide these services in a confidential manner to our customers and do not comment publicly on the malware analysis, investigation and incident response services we provide."

The report said that multiple groups were likely behind the campaign but that the techniques used indicated that they had “similar goals” or were “under the same sponsor.” There was no name or nation state identified in the report as the likely sponsor.

The hackers are said to have used documents, including reports from news outlets, about security issues in South Asia in order to deliver malware to their targets. The security firm said that the malware lets spies upload and download files, steal personal information and obtain the location of the target, among other functions. 

India stepped up its defenses against cyber threats earlier this year, establishing a malware analysis center to help organizations and individuals analyze and remove malware affecting their systems.

In research released last June, Microsoft identified Pakistan as the most at-risk country in the Asia-Pacific region for malware infection. India ranked eighth.

This post has been updated with comment from Symantec.