Chinese language hackers posing because the UN Human Rights Council are attacking Uyghurs

0
123

Chinese-speaking hackers are masquerading as the United Nations in ongoing cyber-attacks against Uyghurs, according to the cybersecurity firms Check Point and Kaspersky. 

Researchers identified an attack in which hackers posing as the UN Human Rights Council send a document detailing human rights violations to Uyghur individuals. It is in fact a malicious Microsoft Word file that, once downloaded, fetches malware: the likely goal, say the two companies, is to trick high-profile Uyghurs inside China and Pakistan into opening a back door to their computers.

Screenshot source: Check Point

“We believe that these cyber-attacks are motivated by espionage, with the endgame of the operation being the installation of a back door into the computers of high-profile targets in the Uyghur community,” said Lotem Finkelstein, head of threat intelligence at Check Point, in a statement. “The attacks are designed to fingerprint infected devices, including all of (their) running programs. From what we can tell, these attacks are ongoing, and new infrastructure is being created for what look like future attacks.”

Hacking is a frequently used weapon in Beijing’s arsenal, and particularly in its ongoing genocide against Ugyhurs, which uses cutting-edge surveillance both in the real world and online. Recent reporting by MIT Technology Review shed new light on another sophisticated hacking campaign that targeted members of the Muslim minority.