‘Predator Files’ Report Prompts Call for Worldwide Ban on Spyware

October 9, 2023 | Amnesty International reported a series of Predator spyware attacks targeting civil society, journalists, politicians, and academics in the European Union, the United States, and Asia. The human rights group called for a worldwide ban on spyware, stating that the attacks are so serious that the developers of Predator, the Intellexa alliance, have done nothing to limit the use of this spyware. The Amnesty International investigation is part of the ‘Predator Files’ project, and those targeted include members of the U.S. Congress, the President of the European Parliament, the Taiwan President, and others. The spyware provides unfettered access to a device’s microphone and camera and all its data. Social media platforms, including X and Facebook, were used to publicly target at least 50 accounts, according to Amnesty International. The Citizen Lab independently confirmed Amnesty’s findings concerning Predator and assessed with “high confidence” that the threat actor included Cytrox Predator infection links in replies to numerous U.S. and international officials and others. The targeting of high-ranking officials and journalists demonstrates the strategic deployment of this spyware, with a clear motive to gain insights into policy-making or to quell dissent.

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