Middle East Eye news site targeted by spyware hackers to spy on Yemen

Middle East Eye News Website Spyware Hackers Yemen

Security researchers have recently reported a cybersecurity attack wherein an anonymous foreign government had hacked a British news site with the help of an Israeli spyware company to take over the devices of the site’s visitors.

Candiru, the threat group involved in the incident, is a spyware company that offers cyberespionage services to its clients. They have allegedly assisted an unknown foreign government in hacking London’s Middle East Eye news site using a watering hole attack. The attack technique injects malicious software on a website and hacks the devices of the infected website’s visitors.

Despite being banned by the US Commerce Department to supply spyware to governments to target other government officials, activists, academics, and more important groups, Candiru is still providing cyberespionage services.

Security researchers were not able to reach Candiru since the threat group is keeping an extremely low profile. They do not have a website or contact details, but somehow, interested clients find their way to reach them. Nonetheless, the spyware firm sells hacking technology to their clients without much limitations on its usage. They have helped various foreign governments that paid rightly for their services to hack activists and other important groups worldwide.


The news site, Middle East Eye, was visited by several readers; however, their devices were allegedly hacked after matching certain criteria set by the spyware hackers.


Furthermore, the researchers stated that the hack on the news site is only a part of a bigger campaign by helping anonymous governments attack any website and sources concerned about the Middle East. Although unconfirmed, the goal of the attack strings is to acquire information about Yemen.

One of Candiru’s spokesperson, who was generous to give out a statement, once told in an interview that their clients do not particularly say their objectives in carrying out attacks. They are just selling the hacking tools to them.

These spyware firms that sell hacking tools to clients are popular within countries that lack intelligence groups that can hack groups or individuals they want to spy on. Some activists have warned these spyware companies that their malicious activities do not harm them as much as expected and only help authorities crack them down easily.

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