Syria Engages in Cyber Warfare Against Activists

If you don’t follow the news, you probably vaguely remember something about Syria and the Internet, like, a year ago. So, a quick refresher: The country is in the midst of a brutal civil war that’s beginning to leak outside its borders. Essentially, the people of Syria would like their “president” Bashar Al-Assad to resign and free elections to be held.

Al-Assad has largely responded with mass murder. But since he can’t just kill citizens of other countries willy-nilly, and those pesky rebel leaders and journalists showing him to be a butcher have a tendency to hide from him, he’s turned to installing malware on their computers.

Creatively, he calls it AntiHacker.

The software is pretty straightforward, if unsurprisingly inept in some respects.

Once the malware is installed in the computer, with promises to “Auto-Protect & Auto-Detect & Security & Quick scan and analysing [sic],” it actually begins to spy on the user. Using a remote access tool called DarkComet RAT the attacker can watch the user’s every move with a Webcam, while also disabling any antivirus programs, stealing passwords, deleting data, and more. Once the user has run the program a pop-up appears that says, “You PC is Protect now thank for using our Product [sic].”

We’re guessing he was deeply angry over his email getting hacked. But it is troubling in a larger sense because if he’s engaging in cyber warfare, and the conflict is spilling across Syria’s borders, then really it’s a matter of when, not if, the whole region gets dragged into this battle.

Of course, Al-Assad could also just stop murdering people but apparently that’s just not an option, bro.

image courtesy FreedomHouse2 on Flickr