Pakistani Intelligence Agency ISI is using Smartphone Malware for Spying upon its Military and Security Forces- Claims Indian Government.
Pakistan’s intelligence agency is popular all over the world for its novel tactics and amazing abilities to stay updated about security concerns. After all, it wasn’t declared one of the world’s best intelligence agencies in 2015 for nothing.
Therefore, there seems to be weight in the claims from Indian minister of State for Home Affairs that ISI is spying upon its military and security personnel using a smartphone malware that has been embedded into music and mobile gaming apps. These apps include Talking Frog, Top Gun, vdjunky, mpjunkie, etc.
As per claims, ISI used gaming, video and music apps to spying on Indian officials.
“There are reports that Pakistan intelligence agencies are spying on Indian security forces by sending malware in mobile apps such as Top Gun (game app), mpjunkie (music app), vdjunkey (video app), talking frog (entertainment app).”
Minister Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary also stated in Lok Sabha that ISI was trying its utmost best to trap unsuspecting ex-servicemen of Indian security forces by giving them offers of exceptionally rewarding jobs and financial support in exchange of spying. In fact, Chaudhary revealed that between 2013 and 2016, around 7 ex-servicemen have been identified or arrested for conducting spying feats for the ISI.
Chaudhary stated that the Indian security forces “have been sensitised about Pakistan ISI using dubious applications on smartphones.”
He further noted that the government of India is aware of the gravity of this issue and hence is busy circulating Computer Security Policy and relevant Guidelines to all the related departments and ministries.
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The idea is to “prevent, detect and mitigate cyber-attacks which include sanitization of staff and officers, installations of CCTV and biometric for electronic surveillance with a well-defined crisis management plan for countering cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism for implementation.”
This is not the first time when India has accused Pakistan’s ISI of spying on Indian military officials using malware. In fact, in March 2016, two cases emerged online highlining the alleged use of malware by Pakistan to keep an eye on Indian military. The first case came to light when Google removed SmeshApp following a complaint from Indian government claiming the messaging app has been developed by Pakistani intelligence officials and used as a tool used by to spy on Indian military personnel.
Another cyber-espionage campaign exposed by IT security researchers from Trend Mirco revealed the campaign targeted Indian military employees via a spear-phishing mechanism with which spyware was distributed to the victims.