Facebook announced yesterday that it blocked a group of Chinese hackers who tried to insert malware on devices belonging to Uighur minority members abroad. The objective was clear: “espionage and surveillance”, as stated by the social network, cited by CNBC.
The hacking group – known as Earth Empusa or Evil Eye – created malicious websites that used domains similar to popular Uighur and Turkish news sites. If a user visited these sites, the device with which he did so was infected with a code that allowed him to monitor a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, for example.
The digital giant said it found sites designed to look like Android app stores, where criminals published Uighur-interest software, such as dictionaries and Muslim prayer books.
One downloaded any of these applications, the hidden malware entered the device, and began the surveillance operation.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company also found that hackers have compromised legitimate websites, frequently visited by their targets, as the US press explains.
Facebook did not link the Chinese hacking group to the Beijing government.
Hackers also used fake social media accounts, posing as journalists, students, human rights activists, or members of the Uighur community to build trust with victims.
Among the victims of this attack are mainly activists, journalists, and dissidents, Uighur, many of whom escaped from Xinjiang, and ended up fleeing to Turkey, Kazakhstan, the United States, Syria, Australia, Canada, and other countries, as Facebook says.
During this week, the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom organized their first united front against Beijing and applied sanctions against Chinese officials, linked to human rights violations against the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang.
Source: with Agencies