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From Ethiopia to Vietnam, researchers map reach of German-made government spy software
LONDON — The discovery of a group of servers linked to an elusive espionage campaign is providing new details about a high-tech piece of spy software that some fear may be targeting dissidents living under oppressive regimes.
A Canadian research center said Wednesday that it had identified 25 different countries that host servers linked to FinFisher, a Trojan horse program which can dodge anti-virus protections to steal data, log keystrokes, eavesdrop on Skype calls, and turn microphones and webcams into live surveillance devices.
The report said evidence for the Ethiopian government’s use of FinFisher was particularly strong, explaining that Citizen Lab had found an example of the spyware which spread through a booby-trapped email purporting to carry images of Ethiopian opposition figures. Once the Trojan was downloaded, it would connect to a server being hosted by Ethiopia’s national telecommunications provider, Ethio Telecom.
It’s not clear who the Trojan’s intended targets might have been, although online messages have provided key evidence in several recent terror cases that have resulted in the incarceration of media and opposition figures.
Journalist Reyot Alemu was arrested in 2011 after she was caught attempting to anonymously email articles to a U.S.-based opposition website, while opposition leader Andualem Arage is currently appealing the life sentence he received last year after authorities got hold of his Skype conversation with an alleged enemy of the Ethiopian state.
Ethiopian opposition leader and Bucknell University academic Berhanu Nega said he had no proof that he or his colleagues had been hacked by the Ethiopian government, but he said he wouldn’t be surprised.
He said opposition figures had long been careful on the phone or over email, but he called FinFisher “the most pervasive kind of spying that we have been confronted with.
“We’re now trying to clear our computers.”
FinSpy in Ethiopia
We analyzed a recently acquired malware sample and identified it as FinSpy. The malware uses images of members of the Ethiopian opposition group, Ginbot 7, as bait. The malware communicates with a FinSpy Command & Control server in Ethiopia, which was first identified by Rapid7 in August 2012. The server has been detected in every round of scanning, and remains operational at the time of this writing. It can be found in the following address block run by Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s state-owned telecommunications provider
The server appears to be updated in a manner consistent with other servers, including servers in Bahrain and Turkmenistan.
ያገር ሰዎች አዳምጡኝ
ላፕቶፕ ወይንም ዴስክ ቶፕ ካላችሁ በየቀኑ
ሃርድ ዲስክ እንዲጸዳ ፕሮግራም ማዘጋጀት ያስፈልጋል::
እንደሚከተለው ብትሰሩ ጥሩ ነው እላለሁ
እንደ operating system አይነት ወደ schedule task ትሄዱና ሃርድ ዲስኩን አጽዳ ትላላችሁ ይህም በየቀኑ እንዲሆን ብታደርጉት መልካም ነው::
ይህ በየጊዘው የሄዳችሁበትን ድረ ገጽ ይጠርጋል ጊዘያዊ ሰነድ አጠቃሎ ያጸዳል::
ብሎም የ ቆሻሻ ማከማቻውንም ይደፋል::
ከዚያም በተረፈ በየወሩ disc difragment እንዲሆን ቼክ አድርጉ አናላይዝ አድርጎ ካስፈለገ አድርጉ ይላል::
ዲስክ ዲፍራግመንት ጠቃሚነቱ ለ ፍጥነት ነው::
እንደዚህ ሁላችንም ካደረግን ሃከርስ አይጎዱንም::
ወያኔ የ አረብ ስፕሪንግ ምን ያህል እንደሚፈራ ማወቅ አይዳግትም:: በ አሁኑ ጊዜ በ ስማርት ፎኖች በፋክስ በ ኢሜይል ኅዝባዊ ግንኙነት አድርጎ ማስተባበር ምን ያህል የ አረምኔን መንግስት እንደሚጥል የማይታበል ሃቅ ነው::
ስለዚህም ነው በ አሁኑ ወቅት ዲክታተር መሪዎች በ አፋኝ ስላይ ሶፍትዌረ ያተኮሩት::
All this suggests/shows how the Ethiopian people’s internal/external enemies are multitude and how our fight for our freedom and democracy is brutal, tedious, bitter and time consuming.
With our perseverance, Ethiopia and Ethiopians will survive!!!
This a type of typical behavior of an outlawed organization like TPLF.
Who ever is responsible need to be arrested and punished!
The main task of ENSA, led by DebreTsion, is to spy on people and organizations which are believed to be opposing the regime. Now they have a full staff of a well trained IT proffesionals in intrusion fields. They have invested a lot and their capabilities are never to be ignored.
Among the task they perform include, interception, investigation, social network monitoring, mobile location, surveillance, signal intercept, encrypted traffic monitoring etc..
Those opposition party offices and their closed door meetings are also a target of ENSA members by a remote listening devices, special microphones & cameras, This helped Weyanne a lot in acting before, those in the meetings, finish their talk. Sometimes they blame each other for revealing their secret to GOE. Which leads to a quarrel and division.
Sorry not ” proffesionals” but “Professionals” in the above comment.
I’m not sure about this case if they do sound good to me safety comes first and it’s justifiable.
Enough is enough and Ethiopia national interest and stability must be protected.
Paranoid, insecure minority gangs spying on their citizens.
In Africa only Ethiopia is investing huge amount of hard currency to spy on its people. What is that tell you about woyane?
It also shows the priorities of Ethio Telecom’s. This is the last country in Africa in terms of Internet penetration, but the 1st when it comes to Spying. So Sad!
Prime Minister office leaked information showed that Pentes control PM mission. Meles was moderate but now Pentes run the spy agency in Ethiopia.
General Samura is not happy and defense Minister Siraj totally dis agrees with dr Shiferaw the pente Federal Affairs Minister.
Real document from Meles office shows how Ethiopia is run against Ethiopian Muslims.
Meles before he died ordered, Awolia to be returned to the People,
Ah Bash to be stopped, Zemzem Bank to be real opened, Muslims to be contacted, and election to be held by the people.
Now, after Meles death, people of unknown background have turned against Meles wish. Who are they? Who is the real force????
Does the Tigree government set free her tribe only while other millions suffer in jail whether there would be spying? Do communication with opposition parts make a person to be a criminal?
These all are false arguments that the Tigree government to implement segregation against other ethnicities.
This is the tip of the iceberg. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
“Ewnet ena negat eyader yiteralu".
Ethiopian people shall endure!!!
Are you that perfectionist and neat freak that it is not acceptable to you to make a single spelling error? Waw!
The rulers have borrowed schemes from two dozens countries all of them evil.
gragn Amhed, get lost nobody cares about your backward religion. i am really tired of seen your name cry baby all the time. i wish someone shoot you really you’re annoying piece of work, i hate you man, you spoil this website. no more intelligent debate other than your shiit religion. for you someone has arabic name then clean of sin but others are nasty regardless. i don’t like woyane but i wish people like you never born. you are so boring, why don’t you go leave in holy land where you can have peace of mind, you really stink this website. go to islamic website where you get respect. i know you are coward talking shiit while enjoying democracy in christan country.
Thank you for saying that. I am also getting bored of people like you who comes here and leaves trash comments and insults each other like animals.
You won’t see me again and I won’t see you and other people like you. Debating with copts is like dropping water on stone.
Most countries including US and UK have Government spy programme that will help them to control call,text and e-mail.What is new if GOE used.After all the main aim is to keep peace and security of our people.As we are located in a very hostile environment we have to use a variety of proactive security measures.
That is right! I love my government more. The reason we have no terrorist is because Ethiopian government work hard. Not only they talk, but they walk the walk. Please do it more, so no one mess with my country. Bulshit, we do not need to be political correct, specially with political islam.
NAZRET COM IS TARGETED RECENTLY. I HAVE DETECTED A TROJA ,POSSIABLY FROM WEYANNES AGENTS IN EUROPE WHO PAIED TO RASSIAN HACKERS.
Bravo Ethiopia, bravo Gamma. It’s a job weldone if it istrue. “…in a recent interview with German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, he defended his work as part of the fight against crime.”
perfectly said. Go deep into their swolen belly and unzip out their terror plans.
You are a well known idiot woyane. Can you do something about that first?
He we are going to catch TPLFs like you and put you in jail or terminate you, be sure of that!
Medereg ende mawerat menew bekelele
I advice usage of linux systems for everyone … both opposition and users. Not only Ethiopian Gov’t but every one is doing this kind of crimes.
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