Everything you have to know about the spyware used in Hong Kong democracy protests – Work Wednesday


Featured image by: Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

According to the Time and International Business Times and Reuters, the democracy protesters are being attacked by a spyware that came along with an iOS and Android app. This app was said to be a protest organisation app by both the Time as the International Business Times. However Reuters believes that the spyware, known as Xsser, was not distributed through an app.

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However all three sources agree that the spyware is probably created in commission by a large organisation, possibly a nation state. However Times sources this statement as: “according to experts”. Which experts? How trustable is this piece of information?

We know that whoever has coded the application and spyware, knows Chinese, as the code was written in Chinese.

Another clue is that the applications as named after a community of Hong Kong programmers called CODE4HK.

However the community of programmers in Hong Kong says to know nothing about the app and says that they have not created the application. They traced the cody to it’s origin. The server host of the application is located in mainland China. However, once opened, a second application opens which connects to a server located in South Korea, according to the South China Morning Post.

However, this same community of programmers (CODE4HK), says that, after closer investigation in the code, it is possibly a generic malware, and probably not written as purpose to spy in Hong Kong.

This isn’t much of a relief, as that means that it might have been roaming around on the black market before used in Hong Kong, and maybe will be used in the future.

According to the Lacoon Mobile Security company’s Chief Executive: Michael Saulov: “(Xsser) can cross borders easily, and is possibly being operated by a Chinese-speaking entity to spy on individuals, foreign companies, or even entire governments.’

This is a very scary thought as this spyware Xsser is able to:

Read a phone’s status and identity

Reroute calls

Read your text messages

Receive text messages

Record audio

Find the location of your phone

Read and save your data logs

See and save your pictures

and record your passwords

Who will be targeted next? Who were targeted before? Who is behind it?

Maybe, we will find out soon.

Picture by Anthony Kwan / Getty Images. A protestor in Hong Kong.

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-Joy

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