'Operation DualPak': Espionage campaign launched against Pakistan Military and top government officials to steal secret data

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'Operation DualPak': Espionage campaign launched against Pakistan Military and top government officials to steal secret data

ISLAMABd - 'Operation DualPak', Espionage campaign launched against Pakistan Military and top government officials to steal secret data from smartphones.

Fake smartphone apps loaded with malware are targeting Pakistan's military and government, according to a report by Canadian tech company BlackBerry.

The report identifies new espionage campaigns attempting to steal sensitive data from mobile devices of government and military officials. “The Pakistani government is the target of a newly identified and ongoing espionage campaign BlackBerry researchers have dubbed OPERATION DUALPAK, which is employing newly identified malware BlackBerry researchers have dubbed PWNDROID2," the report stated.

“BlackBerry researchers determined the campaign to be the work of a likely state-sponsored APT group known as BITTER. The malware was propagated via fake apps and elaborate phishing schemes that mimic real entities including Pornhub Premium and the Ansar Foundation," the report reads.

“The Pakistani military, other government agencies and their officials were also the subject of a concurrent espionage campaign employing both mobile and desktop components BlackBerry researchers have dubbed OPERATION DUALPAK2 which utilizes newly identified Windows malware family BlackBerry researchers have dubbed PWNWIN2. BlackBerry researchers determined this effort to be the work of another state-sponsored APT group known as CONFUCIUS," it said.

BlackBerry says it doesn't know who is responsible for the campaigns but says it likely involves state-sponsored hacking groups. The report says one of the fake apps promised news about Kashmir, after India imposed a security lockdown in August on the India-occupied Kashmir, detaining thousands and cutting off telecommunications for days.

“Nearly all the governments with a developed cyber capability have an interest in, and ability to spy on the Pakistani government and its influential military. Even APT groups with unattributed state backing have had a go at it," stated the report.

The apps often utilized Google's Android operating system and were distributed through email or on social media messaging services such as WhatsApp. BlackBerry, says the campaigns reflect a global trend of hackers targeting mobile devices because people use them for work and in their personal lives.

BlackBerry's report also outlines ongoing smartphone malware campaigns in other parts of the world in which hackers appear to be acting in the interests of the Chinese, Iranian, Vietnamese and North Korean governments.

Check out the complete report here. link