Ethiopian surveillance of journalists abroad (2017)

From International cyber law: interactive toolkit
Revision as of 05:09, 4 June 2021 by Icrc055 (talk | contribs) (Typos, grammar, and lexical choice)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Date 2017
Suspected actor According to Citizenlab, the attackers' IP addresses indicated that the Ethopian government is behind the espionage.
Target The operation was conducted against Ethiopian dissidents living in Canada, United States, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom who were journalists, activists, and critics of Ethopian politics from as well as government officials from Eritrea.
Method After the Ethiopian government had acquired the espionage software from the Israeli software company 'Cyberbit', spear- phishing emails were sent to selected individuals containing various links. The links then prompted the downloading of a fake Adobe Flash Player update which led to the installation of the malware/spyware on their computers.
Purpose The espionage operation can be seen as part of the Ethiopian governments efforts to keep under surveillance (and to silence) individuals criticizing the regime and speaking up against human rights violations committed in Ethiopia.
Aftermath The operation was revealed in a report by Citizenlab[1]. The incident triggered a debate regarding the responsibility of software firms like Cyberbit - considering that this was not the first time the Ethiopian government had bought surveillance software - as espionage software can present an important tool for oppressive governments to maintain their power for years.
Analysed in Scenario 02: Cyber espionage against government departments