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The Intercept: Inside the Spyware Campaign Against Argentine Troublemakers

Posted by Soledad Vega on Fri, 08/28/2015 - 16:35

Photo: Cezaro De Luca/EPA/Landov

Argentine dissidents are getting targeted by invasive spyware.

Article by Morgan Marquis-Boire for The Intercept

Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor known for doggedly investigating a 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, was targeted by invasive spy software downloaded onto his cellular phone shortly before his mysterious death. The software masqueraded as a confidential document and was intended to infect a Windows computer.

An investigation by The Intercept indicates that this targeting was likely not an isolated event. The person or persons behind the attempted monitoring appear to have run other surveillance operations involving various locations throughout South America, at least one apparently targeting a rabble-rousing Argentine journalist. In the process, they created at least four distinct spyware bundles, all communicating with the same server set to receive Nisman’s data. They also left traces showing that their operations were active as recently as March, raising the possibility that the online spying continues today.

Nisman (pictured above) made powerful enemies inside and outside of Argentina. In his decade-long investigation into the suicide bombing of a Jewish organization and community center, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, he indicted a top Hezbollah operative and several Iranian officials, including a former president, former intelligence minister, and a former foreign minister. Four days before his death, he accused the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and her foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, of being involved in a criminal conspiracy to let Iranian officials off the hook for the attack. He was called to testify before Congress.

- Read more at The Intercept