Indian Cyber-Espionage Effort Targets Election, Energy Officials | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

A hacking group with ties to the Indian military adopted a pair of mobile surveillance tools to spy on geopolitical targets in Pakistan and Kashmir amid persistent regional tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors, according to a report from cybersecurity company, Lookout Inc.

The group is known for commandeering legitimate web services in South Asia and embedding surveillance tools or malware inside these apps and services to conduct espionage. Since 2017, and as recently as December, the hackers have relied on spyware to target Pakistani military officials, the country’s top nuclear regulator and Indian election officials in the disputed state of Kashmir, according to the report released Thursday from San Francisco-based Lookout.

The campaign appears to be just the latest example of hackers targeting sensitive security targets with social engineering tactics — luring victims to download malicious files disguised as benign applications. What’s unique about attacks by the group, dubbed Confucius, is the extent to which its operators go to veil their efforts, experts say.

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