Did you know that NATO soldiers who are deployed to eastern Europe are struggling to defend against smartphone hacks? It was reported by The Wall Journal that a new line of phone and account hacked launched against deployed US troops. These hacks are targeting iCloud, Facebook, and even individual devices. Most of the attacks are not sophisticated, but they can be enough to leak details like troop movements and other sensitive data if successful.
Till now, the attacks were focused on the 4,000 NATO troops that is currently deployed in the eastern Europe near the Russian border as mentioned above. This suggests a geopolitical intent behind the happenings of the attacks. It was confirmed that at least six individual who has suffered hacks ranged from a hacked Facebook account to a fraudulent “Find my iPhone “request. There was another attack which seemed to indicate a Stingray-like device that harvests contact information and deletes data from nearby phones.
The Journal speculates the attack to Russian state actors, citing the U.S. officials who believe drones and other developed techniques were involved. But, many of the specific attacks that were entailed in the piece would be within the reach for common criminals. It is a known fact that Find my iPhone attacks are common among online vandals. It often leads to wiping or locating phones once an iCloud password is compromised.
Earlier this year, there was a Russia-linked campaign that sent a malware blended Twitter messaged to more than 10,000 employees of the Department of Defense. This allows attackers to gain control of any device that followed the attached link. Phishing techniques were used by Russian hackers to steal and leak intel from the Clinton campaign in the election of 2016. It is believed that an attack was directed by Vladimir Putin and there are many such similar attacks that were reported against the Macron campaign in France earlier this year.
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