VB2018 preview: commercial spyware and its use by governments

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Sep 19, 2018

Yesterday, a new report by Citizen Lab looked at NSO Group's Pegasus spyware and its global use. The report is worth a read, for the political implications of the findings, for the interesting methodology used, as well as for the section on the ethics of DNS cache probing.

I have long been a fan of Citizen Lab's publications on digital threats against civil society and I am thus very excited that the Lab's Masashi Crete-Nishihata and John Scott Railton will be speaking on this very topic at VB2018 next month.

Threats against civil society in general, and the use of commercial spyware by governments for this purpose in particular, have long been a favourite topic of VB conference attendees, and there are two more talks on this year's programme that will also cover this particular threat.

Right before the Citizen Lab presentation, ESET's Filip Kafka will present a paper on the resurfaced Hacking Team spyware, and what has changed since the company behind it faced a number of prominent hacks. Filip's research builds on previous work by the aforementioned Citizen Lab on Hacking Team and also complements his VB2017 presentation on FinFisher, another kind of EU-made government spyware with a rather dubious reputation.

HackingTeamMalwareChanges.png

One of many changes made by Hacking Team's malware after the company was breached.


Then on Thursday, CSIS researchers Benoît Ancel and Aleksejs Kuprins will detail their investigation into an actor that appears to have been selling commercial spyware as government espionage spyware and that appears to have cared more about its appearance towards potential customers than about its operational security.

VB2018 takes place in Montreal, 3-5 October. Places are still available, so to make sure you don't miss these important talks, as well as more than 50 others by security experts from around the globe, book your ticket now!

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: Geost botnet. The story of the discovery of a new Android banking trojan from an OpSec error

OpSec mistakes are what lead to many malware discoveries, and in the case of the Geost Android botnet the mistake was a really interesting one. Today we publish the VB2019 paper by Sebastian García, Maria Jose Erquiaga and Anna Shirokova on the Geost…

Analysis of malware responsible for sextortion spam that mines for Monero on the side

VB2019 Platinum partner Reason Cybersecurity presents a threat analysis report on the Save Yourself malware.

Guest blog: Threat intelligence – a unifying force of the future

In a guest blog post VB2019 Platinum partner Reason Cybersecurity looks to the future of threat intelligence.

Guest blog: Why we should be paying more attention to Linux threats

In a guest blog post VB2019 Silver partner Intezer outlines the importance of paying attention to Linux threats.

New Emotet spam campaign continues to bypass email security products

On Monday, the infamous Emotet malware resumed its spam campaign to spread the latest version of the malware. As before, the malware successfully bypasses many email security products.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.