Monday, July 19, 2021

Modi Government Planted Spyware in Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's Smartphone

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been the target of the Modi government's cyber attacks, according to a recently released Project Pegasus report.  The Indian government has neither confirmed nor denied the report.  The focus of the report is the use of the Israeli-made spyware by about  a dozen governments to target politicians, journalists and activists. The users of the Pegasus software include governments of  Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Togo and Rwanda.    

This is not the first time that Pakistan has figured prominently as India's favorite target for cyber hacks. Last year, a report in The Sunday Guardian of India said: "Mobile phones of around 30 Pakistani government servants, who include serving army generals, officials attached with the ISI and senior bureaucrats, were hacked into by using Pegasus spying software during April and May 2019". 

In addition to the use of spyware, the Indian government has been engaged in a massive, long-running disinformation campaign targeting Pakistan. EU Disinfo Lab, an NGO that specializes in disinformation campaigns, has found that India is carrying out a massive 15-year-long disinformation campaign to hurt Pakistan. The key objective of the Indian campaign as reported in "Indian Chronicles" is as follows: "The creation of fake media in Brussels, Geneva and across the world and/or the repackaging and dissemination via ANI and obscure local media networks – at least in 97 countries – to multiply the repetition of online negative content about countries in conflict with India, in particular Pakistan".  After the disclosure of India's anti-Pakistan propaganda campaign, Washington-based US analyst Michael Kugelman tweeted: "The scale and duration of the EU/UN-centered Indian disinformation campaign exposed by @DisinfoEU is staggering. Imagine how the world would be reacting if this were, say, a Russian or Chinese operation".  

Pegasus Spyware Explained. Source: The Guardian 


Pegasus is spying software made by NSO Group, an Israeli company whose exports are regulated and controlled by the Israeli government. It uses several different messaging apps to plant itself in mobile phones. Last year, Apple issued a warning to its customers of a "zero-click" version of the Pegasus software. It does not require the phone user to click on any links or messages for the spyware to take control of the device. Once installed, it can read and export any information or extract any file from SMS messages, address books, call history, calendars, emails and internet browsing histories.   

The Israeli spyware will likely inspire other software developers elsewhere to copy and improve it, contributing to a proliferation of such hacking and spying tools around the world. The governments and officials who use it to target others will eventually become targets themselves, unless the nations of the world agree to some norms of internationally accepted cyber behavior. It's high time to think about it. 


15 comments:

Ahmad Malik said...

Our security apparatus is extremely week technologically

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad Malik: "Our security apparatus is extremely week technologically"

True. But it's easier to launch #cyber attacks than to defend against them. Last year, the #US government suffered a massive #SolarWinds #cyberattack and didn't even detect it until #Fireeye, a company founded by a #Pakistani-#American, alerted them.

https://www.riazhaq.com/2020/12/fireeye-founded-by-pakistani-american.html

Ahmed said...


Dear Sir

Isrealis are way ahead in science and technology, I was watching a news on tv channel in which it said that Isreal is ranked no.1 in "Cyber Security" and also in "Smart Car" technology, Isreal is ranked no.1

Thanks

SAMIR SARDANA said...

THIS IS A ISRAELI TOOL TO OBTAIN LEVERAGE WITH WORLD GOVERNMENTS AND BLACKMAIL POLITICIANS AND KEY OPINION MAKERS.

SOMEWHERE THERE IS A SERVER WHICH HAS ALL THE DATA AND THAT SERVER CAN BE ACCESSED BY MOSSAD AND CIA !

Y IS THE WORLD SURPRISED ? THE JOB OF THE STATE ,IS TO MANIPULATE AND NAVIGATE THE MINDS OF ITS POPULATION.THIS REQUIRES DATA - WHICH COMES FROM PEGASUS ! ANALYTICS OF THAT DATA = INFORMATION.

THIS LEADS TO MIND CONTROL AND NAVIGATION STRATEGIES ,BEING CONCEIVED AND EXECUTED BY THE STATE,USING TECHNOLOGICAL AND OTHER TOOLS !

Imran Khan was also a PEGASUS Target ! Inspite of ISI ?

People of this world are in deep slumber !

Y is online gambling not banned ?
Y is online porn not banned ?
Y is online gaming for kids not banned ?
What is the purpose of the 1000s of Apps , developed only for the handphone market ?
Y are all search engines free ?
Y is all Social Media free ?
Y do states tolerate websites which preach racism,hate and conspiracy theories

It is simple no brainer !

It is to SPY on people ! Even a TV set with or w/o a Dish, is used to video record and audio record.This is a open secret for decades ! Advertisements are a revenue model, for the private entities of the above,but each of the platforms as above,can be taken over ANY TIME, by PEGASUS and many other softwares.

WHEN THE ABOVE PROPOSITIONS WERE DEVELOPED 10-50 YEARS BEFORE , THEY WERE STRUCTURED TO BE SPIED UPON ! THE AIM IS TO GET THE HUMANS (LIKE BEES) TO THE VARIED HIVES,AND THEN NAVIGATE THE BEES,TO THOUGHT AND ACTION.THE THEORY IS THAT,IT IS BETTER THAt THE BEES MAKE HONEY AND MONEY,AND NOT WAR OR REVOLUTION ! WNHEN THE BEES GO ASTRAY (MASS SHOOTING OR TERROR),IT IS DUE TO THE MIND CONTROL AND PROVOCATION BY THE HIVE MAKER (CIA/MOSSAD).THE BEE IS KILLED BY THE HIVE MAKER TO SEND A MESSAGE ALL BEES (HUMANS) TO FALL IN LINE AND STAY IN LINE !

Once Pegasus is on 1 smart phone, with 1 App,then like the COVID virus,it will jump to all the persons called by that person,with a smart phone, and who has the same, or any other app.

SOLUTION - Use simple Nokia 2100 , and if required,remove the SIM when not in use.dindooo hindoo

IF A POLITCIAN DOES NOT KNOW OF THE ABOVE, AND SURFS THE WEB,FROM A SMART PHONE, AND WATCHES PORN AND GAMBLES ONLINE, FROM A SMART PHONE - THEN THEY DESERVE DOOM !

Riaz Haq said...

Secured messaging app being developed for govt officials: #Pakistan #IT minister. 'Beep Pakistan’ app is undergoing in-house trial, will be launched within few months. It will be mandatory to use the app for official purpose. #Pegasus #ImranKhan #Spyware https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/866845-secured-messaging-app-developed-for-govt-officials-aminul-haq


Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq on Tuesday said that his ministry has developed "a secured and seamless" messaging app for the government officials.

In a statement Tuesday, Aminul Haq said that his ministry has developed a digital messaging app named 'Beep Pakistan' for a secured official communication in the country.

He maintained that the app will initially provide a secured chat and audio call facilities, adding that video call facility will also be available on the app soon.

The minister said that the app is aimed at providing government officials a safe communication platform.

According to the Ministry of IT and Telecom, ‘Beep Pakistan’ app was undergoing in-house trial, adding that the app will be launched within few months. It will be mandatory for all the government employees to use the app for official purpose.

It is pertinent to mention here that India had targeted a phone which was earlier in Prime Minister Imran Khan's use through an Israeli firm's malware, a global investigation had revealed, igniting fears of widespread privacy and rights abuses.


As reported by an independent Israeli publication Haaretz, several Pakistani officials, Kashmiri freedom fighters, Indian Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and even an Indian supreme court judge had been targeted, the publication said.

Sources had informed Geo News that India tried to tap the Federal Cabinet members' calls and messages through the spyware, prompting Pakistan to develop new software for its federal ministers.

Following the development, a high-level meeting of the civil and military leadership had been called which would decide a future course of action against India's spying attempt.


SAMIR SARDANA said...

Beep Pakistan will also be penetrated by Mossad and CIA.

ISI has to 1st develop a smart phone,to be used BY MANDATE,only by senior Govtt staff - and these phones will make and get calls,from the same phone types ONLY.The only exceptions being calls by senior staff of FOREIGN STATES,on an EMERGENCY MODE.

Then those phones need to have NO OTHER APP,besides Beep.It should be a crime for a Govtt staffer,to make official calls on any other phone.

The BEEP Servers have to be IN PAKISTAN,under state control.

The PM of Pakistan should not SURF the web.even on the STATE PHONE.There is no need,as it can be done from a secure desktop.The team of the PM should surf the web for news of interest,convert the page to JPEG,put it on the local and secure INTRANET,and the PM can ONLY READ IT !

That is the only secure way !

COMING TO CHAIWALA ! INDIA AND ISRAEL ARE 1 ! Y ONLY IMRAN KHAN ? ALL THE GOVTT MINISTERS, MILITARY STAFF of PAKISTAN, ARE PRIME TARGETS ! ALL THAT RAW HAS TO DO,IS TO GET THE CELL PHONE NUMBER OF THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR "VULNERABLES",ID.EST., KIDS,WIVES,MISTRESSES, SECRETARIES ....

THESE NUMBERS ARE SENT TO MOSSAD - WHO SENDS IT TO NSO - WHO THEN PLAN AND EXECUTE THE HACK, FROM VARIOUS LOCATIONS,IN THE WORLD ! THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION IS SCATTRED ACROSS THE WORLD - SO THAT NO LEGAL REMEDY IS PRACTICAL,VIABLE OR POSSIBLE.

Y ARE PEOPLE SHOCKED BY CHAIWALA ?

These Hindoo heathens, just killed a 85 year NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT,STAN SWAMY - who had Parkinson's ! He was classifed as a terrorist ! The man was denied bail and medical aid ! He was a Jesuit Preacher with the tribals ! He had to seek daily court sanction for medical treatment !

The NIA and the Indian Courts denied him a straw to drink water (as he had Parkinson's),so that he could suffer and crave for water !

This is the status of the worthless Indian Police,legal system,Constitution and Judiciary !

Such a nation is capable of anything ! dindooohindoo

SAMIR SARDANA said...

THE COMBO IS THE CRACK !

BEEP PER SE,IS NOT ENOUGH !

IT IS BEEP + MIP (MADE IN PAKISTAN) SMART PHONE !

THE MIP SMART PHONE IS KEY ! LET US ASSUME THAT IMRAN KHAN USES A SECURE PHONE,WITH NO APP AND NO WEB HOOK UP,AND NO INTRANET !

BUT ....

HE HAS KIDS,CLOSE RELATIVES,SECRETARIES ....

THEY TRAVEL BY AIR !

WHEN THEY CHECK IN - THEY PUT THEIR PHONES AND LAPTOP,ON THE TRAY,FOR X-RAY ! JUST 1 LAYER OF BREACH ! dindooohindoo

IT TAKES LESS THAN 1 SECOND,TO PLANT A TRACKING BUG ON A E-DEVICE,FOR LOCATION ! FOR LOCATION,IN ANY CASE, IT IS EASIER TO PLANT A BUG ON THE BODY OR CLOTHES OF A PERSON.

IT WILL TAKE ONLY A FEW SECONDS,TO PLANT A BUG IN THE OS OF THE PHONE, OR AN APP ON THE PHONE !

THEN THE STORY WILL BE OVER !

SOLUTION = MIP SINGLE USE SMART PHONES,WHICH ARE SEALED,AND CANNOT BE OPENED OR REPAIRED AND WITH NO PORTS - EXCEPT 1 CHARGING POINT.IF THERE IS A PROBLEM - THEN THE PHONE HAS TO BE DESTROYED.THE DATA WILL BE ON THE SERVERS,IN ANY CASE.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian ex Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi was facing #sexual #harassment charges while #Modi govt was using #PegasusSpyware to spy on him. Modi's pressure on #Gogoi got favorable verdicts on #Ayodhya, #Rafale corruption cases pending in #India's Supreme Court. https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/can-indias-supreme-court-ride-out-the-pegasus-scandal-after-reports-on-surveillance-of-complainant-in-sexual-harassment-case-former-cji-ranjan-gogoi


By SANJOY GHOSE

Bhanwari’s tears ensured that the cry of India’s women for a safe workplace reverberated in India’s highest Court. The Court did not disappoint and its landmark guidelines on addressing sexual harassment at the workplace laid down in Vishakha’s Case ensured that an issue, hitherto brushed under the carpet, was mainstreamed into India’s public life.
The Court had exercised its inherent powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to lay down “guidelines” to fill in the legislative void, clarifying that these norms would give way to the law which Parliament would frame in future.
Until Parliament got around to doing so by enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (2013 Act), several institutions, public and private, modified their internal norms to institutionalise “sexual harassment” as a “misconduct”.
While like many of the rushed legislation in the dying days of the UPA Regime—the law on unorganised workers, on street vendors and the right to food, to name a few—the 2013 Act leaves much to be desired and suffers from glaring inconsistencies.
.....
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Questions to be Asked About Sexual Harassment Case After Pegasus Leaks
It is in this backdrop that the Pegasus revelations are jaw dropping. In the galaxy of celebrity journalists, businessmen and politicians, what sticks out as a sore thumb are the 11 phone numbers belonging to the complainant and her family members. Some unknown force, as the government has denied any involvement, has spent about Rs 1.5 crore per phone on 11 phones to spy on the accuser of the CJI and her near and dear ones!
Many questions arise.
What was the motive behind expending such a large sum of money to spy on a clerical employee and her family? Was the motive to seek out information which would embarrass the CJI or make him vulnerable to blackmail or dictation? Was the motive to pressurize the complainant or make her vulnerable to settlement or surrender or compromise?
Who are behind this surveillance? Are the actors State or Non-State?
Who were aware of this surveillance? Was the CJI at any time aware of this, was it undertaken with his direct or tacit approval? What would have been his reaction to such an action? If indeed he was, or at any stage became aware, why has he himself not brought this into the public domain?
Has Justice Pattanaik in his report been able to get a whiff of this mischief?
In every possible scenario, this act of snooping has impacted upon the “independence of the judiciary” and is indisputably a matter of “great public importance”.
The fact that a complainant of sexual impropriety by the sitting CJI was so extensively snooped especially when he was in the process of deciding several sensitive cases having larger political ramifications, in normal times, would have provoked an outrage of Tsunamic proportions. The reactions predictably are muted. The Bar has hardly reacted. There is no concerted call for investigation and accountability!

In the light of the Pegasus scandal, would the Supreme Court make public the Pattanaik Committee Report or the Bobde Committee Report which exonerated Shri Gogoi of sexual harassment allegations, albeit with suitable redactions to protect the privacy of the complainant?

Riaz Haq said...

Hours after his sudden firing by #Modi & #Shah, #India's Central Bureau of Investigation (#CBI) Chief Alok Verma, his family and 2 other senior CBI officials were targeted for surveillance with #Pegasus #spyware made by #Israel's #NSOGroup https://thewire.in/government/pegasus-project-chronology-samajhiye-hours-after-midnight-coup-cbi-chiefs-phones-entered-surveillance-zone via @thewire_in

The midnight coup in the CBI came barely two days after Verma ordered the filing of a criminal case against Asthana, then special director in the Bureau, accusing him of corruption.

Given Asthana’s proximity to Modi, the case, registered on October 21, 2018 – which ironically depended on (lawful) phone intercepts and apparently yielded a lot of sensitive material – sent alarm bells ringing at the highest levels of the government. Two days later, Asthana filed a complaint against Verma with the Central Vigilance Commission.



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‘Chronology Samajhiye’: Hours After Midnight Coup, CBI Chief Alok Verma Entered Surveillance Zone
Leaked list contains numbers of Alok Verma and family, and of Rakesh Asthana, against whom the CBI had filed a case, triggering alarm bells at the highest levels of Modi government

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted to oust Alok Verma from his post as head of the Central Bureau of Investigation at midnight on October 23, 2018, an unidentified Indian agency known to be a user of Pegasus spyware made a note of three telephone numbers registered in his name.

For India’s top law enforcement official, this was a remarkable reversal of fortune.

Until his peremptory termination despite having three months of tenure to go, Verma had enjoyed the authority to order the surveillance of suspects – under norms prescribed by law.

But unknown to him at the time, the blow the Modi government delivered that night was accompanied by a second sucker punch: someone with the keys to India’s hush-hush spyware deployment system received authorisation to add Verma’s numbers to an extensive list of persons of interest selected for surveillance, The Wire has established.

The Wire investigated several hundred India numbers from a leaked database comprising 50,000 numbers believed to be linked to potential targets of Pegasus. Forbidden Stories, a French media non-profit, accessed and shared the database with a consortium of 15 other international media partners.

Along with Verma, the personal telephone numbers of his wife, daughter and son-in-law would eventually get placed on the list too, making it a total of 8 numbers from this one family.

Also added to the list of numbers at the same time as Verma were two other senior CBI officials, Rakesh Asthana and A.K. Sharma.

Both men were added on to the database about an hour after their former boss. Asthana was also removed from the CBI on the night of October 23, 2018; he is currently head of the Border Security Force (BSF). Sharma was divested that night of the crucial charge he held – head of the policy division – but remained in the CBI till January 2019, when he was transferred out. He retired from government earlier this year.

The numbers of Asthana, Sharma, Verma and his family members figure in the leaked database for a short period. By the second week of February, 2019, by which time Verma had finally retired from government service, this entire cluster of persons ceased being of interest to the government agency which had added them to the list.

NSO insists the leaked database has nothing to do with the company or with Pegasus. Verma was unwilling to participate in this story, so forensics on the telephones linked to him – the only way of conclusively establishing whether they were targeted or infected with Pegasus – could not be carried out.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan seeks #UN probe of #India's use of #Pegasus spyware, made & licensed by #Israeli company #NSO. It's been used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to #ImranKhan, #Indian journos, govt officials & human rights activists. https://reut.rs/3zrsyaF

Pakistan called on the United Nations on Friday to investigate whether India used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to spy on public figures including Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Pakistani leader’s phone number was on a list of what an investigation by a group of 17 international media organisations and Amnesty International said were potential surveillance targets for countries that bought the spyware.

Pakistan’s foreign office issued a statement accusing India of “state-sponsored, continuing and widespread surveillance and spying operations in clear breach of global norms of responsible state behaviour.”

“In view of the gravity of these reports, we call on the relevant UN bodies to thoroughly investigate the matter, bring the facts to light, and hold the Indian perpetrators to account,” it said.

India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the statement.

The Indian government has already faced calls by domestic political opponents to investigate allegations of spying on officials including the main opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi.

Delhi has not responded to the allegations.

The investigation published by the media organisations on Sunday said spyware made and licensed by Israeli company NSO had been used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists.

NSO has said its product was intended only for use by vetted government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime.


Arch-rivals and neighbours, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both claim in full.

The statement by Pakistan’s foreign office said Delhi had long been using such tactics in Indian-administered Kashmir, an accusation to which India did not immediately respond.

“We are closely following these revelations and will bring the Indian abuses to the attention of appropriate global platforms,” the statement said.

Riaz Haq said...

Netflix's Playbook for Tyrants Has a Real-World Mimic in #India. In fact, modern India has one advantage the Netflix six did not. I’m speaking of #spyware technology of the winged-horse variety. #Modi #Pegasus #BJP #hindutvaterror https://thewire.in/politics/netflix-how-to-become-a-tryant via @thewire_in

by Karan Thapar

I don’t watch many Netflix programmes but a series recommended by my cousin Mala Singh has struck me like a bolt of lightning. Called How to Become a Tyrant, it presents what it calls “a playbook for absolute power”. Much of it is tongue-in-cheek, yet it’s based on the actual tactics and strategies used by Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Muammar Gaddafi, Kim Il-sung, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein. So if you take it seriously, it tells you what you must do if you aspire to be India’s tanashah. And the remarkable thing is it feels uncannily like the country we’re living in and the politics we’re subjected to. Read on and see if you agree.

First, if you want to be a dictator, you need to be a particular type of person. For a start, you must be or, at least, present yourself as, one of the people. Hitler was a corporal, Mussolini the son of a blacksmith. As the commentary puts it: “A man who shares your dreams can fulfil them.” So a chaiwala will do very nicely.

The would-be dictator must also believe in himself. The series claims “a megalomaniacal belief in your abilities convinces others of them”. So whether it’s the mystical power of taalis and thalis or the claim a single act of demonetisation can eliminate corruption, if you are convinced of it then you can be sure an awful lot of others will also agree.

However, our putative dictator needs one further character quality: the gift of speech or, actually, the more important capacity to attract attention. Hitler’s pencil-brush moustache was his defining feature. It was unmistakably him. But a flowing white beard might do as well. Hitler, we’re told, was a natural-born adman. The Swastika, it’s claimed, was the most striking symbol ever created. If that’s true, the performance we first saw at Madison Square Gardens and the penchant for clever alliteration, acronyms and rhymes is clearly an enormous asset.

Now, if these are the qualities that can define a potential tyrant, there are a few others he needs to attract a firm and loyal following. First, the promise that he can create a better world for everyone. It’s not necessary to succeed – few tyrants have – but the promise must remain evergreen and the belief you’re steadily getting closer to delivery must be unquestioned. After all, you won’t become a tyrant if you’re associated with ‘burre din’.

But this promise on its own is not enough. Our tyrant-in-the-making must also be seen as the only man who can fulfil it. He must, therefore, be acknowledged not just as the fount of all wisdom but also the fount of all virtue. So he needs to whip up a cult of personality. With the right number of bhakts, that’s quite easily done.

In normal times this should be enough to corral the flock behind the shepherd but, sometimes, even sheep can go astray. So it’s a good idea to create an enemy to keep them in line. Hitler found one in the Jews, Idi Amin in Ugandan-Asians and Gaddafi in Italian-Libyans. Our minorities could neatly fit this purpose. The Muslims, for example, at 14% of the population, are large enough to be falsely painted as a threat yet small enough to be easily kept in their place.


Every now and then, an external enemy also helps. Saddam Hussein chose Iran, Kim Il-sung South Korea, Hitler France and Germany, and Stalin most of the rest of the world. Little Pakistan next door would be perfect for us. The problem is the support it gets from China. If the enemy you choose is stronger than you, things could unravel pretty quickly. Still, if you can strike at Balakot and the only price you pay is a MiG-21, the audience at home will keep smiling.

Finally, tyrants need to be prepared for the worst.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Journalist Swati Caturvedi: #Israel is helping #Modi undermine #India's democracy. Why Israel must shut down sales of #Pegasus #spyware, and why authoritarian cowards troll and intimidate - but they won't silence me. #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-i-was-targeted-by-nso-israel-is-helping-modi-undermine-india-s-democracy-1.10028100

India loves to describe herself as the world’s largest democracy, and Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East. Yet opaque officials and executives in both countries have come together in a dark dance against democracy.

Indian journalists, top political leaders, judges and civil servants sworn to protect our constitution were subjected to an intrusive surveillance campaign, a "hijacking" of our phones, by military grade surveillance spyware sold by the Israeli company NSO.

Riaz Haq said...

#Disinformation Industry is Booming. Abhay Aggarwal, head of #Toronto-based CEO of #disinfo company "Press Monitor", says that his company’s services are used by the #Indian government. Disinfo campaigns have recently been found promoting #BJP #Modi https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/europe/disinformation-social-media.html

Private firms, straddling traditional marketing and the shadow world of geopolitical influence operations, are selling services once conducted principally by intelligence agencies.

They sow discord, meddle in elections, seed false narratives and push viral conspiracies, mostly on social media. And they offer clients something precious: deniability.

“Disinfo-for-hire actors being employed by government or government-adjacent actors is growing and serious,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, calling it “a boom industry.”

Similar campaigns have been recently found promoting India’s ruling party, Egyptian foreign policy aims and political figures in Bolivia and Venezuela.

Mr. Brookie’s organization tracked one operating amid a mayoral race in Serra, a small city in Brazil. An ideologically promiscuous Ukrainian firm boosted several competing political parties.

In India, dozens of government-run Twitter accounts have shared posts from India Vs Disinformation, a website and set of social media feeds that purport to fact-check news stories on India.

India Vs Disinformation is, in reality, the product of a Canadian communications firm called Press Monitor.

Nearly all the posts seek to discredit or muddy reports unfavorable to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, including on the country’s severe Covid-19 toll. An associated site promotes pro-Modi narratives under the guise of news articles.

A Digital Forensic Research Lab report investigating the network called it “an important case study” in the rise of “disinformation campaigns in democracies.”

A representative of Press Monitor, who would identify himself only as Abhay, called the report completely false.

He specified only that it incorrectly identified his firm as Canada-based. Asked why the company lists a Toronto address, a Canadian tax registration and identifies as “part of Toronto’s thriving tech ecosystem,” or why he had been reached on a Toronto phone number, he said that he had business in many countries. He did not respond to an email asking for clarification.

A LinkedIn profile for Abhay Aggarwal identifies him as the Toronto-based chief executive of Press Monitor and says that the company’s services are used by the Indian government.
A set of pro-Beijing operations hint at the field’s capacity for rapid evolution.

Since 2019, Graphika, a digital research firm, has tracked a network it nicknamed “Spamouflage” for its early reliance on spamming social platforms with content echoing Beijing’s line on geopolitical issues. Most posts received little or no engagement.

In recent months, however, the network has developed hundreds of accounts with elaborate personas. Each has its own profile and posting history that can seem authentic. They appeared to come from many different countries and walks of life.

Graphika traced the accounts back to a Bangladeshi content farm that created them in bulk and probably sold them to a third party.

The network pushes strident criticism of Hong Kong democracy activists and American foreign policy. By coordinating without seeming to, it created an appearance of organic shifts in public opinion — and often won attention.

The accounts were amplified by a major media network in Panama, prominent politicians in Pakistan and Chile, Chinese-language YouTube pages, the left-wing British commentator George Galloway and a number of Chinese diplomatic accounts.

A separate pro-Beijing network, uncovered by a Taiwanese investigative outlet called The Reporter, operated hundreds of Chinese-language websites and social media accounts.


Riaz Haq said...

Abhay Aggarwal 3rd degree connection3rd
Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Content, Infographics, Video, Web and Mobile Apps Development
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Contact info

Press Monitor

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhay-aggarwal/?originalSubdomain=ca


Press Monitor is India's leading media monitoring service.

Press Monitor services are used by President of India, Prime Minister of India, all the ministries of the Indian government, all Indian embassies worldwide, statutory bodies, regulatory bodies, public sector undertakings, multinational companies and Indian enterprises.

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Abhay Aggarwal
Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Content, Infographics, Video, Web and Mobile Apps Development

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Abhay Aggarwal
Abhay Aggarwal 3rd degree connection3rd
Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Content, Infographics, Video, Web and Mobile Apps Development
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Contact info

Press Monitor
500+ connections

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About
Nearly 24 years experience in dealing with senior executives and business leaders. Two decades experience involving application of mind and discretion.

Strong understanding of business issues at national and international level. Daily interaction with news over 24 years.

Ability to lead complex projects from concept to fully operational status. Have handled projects in the UK, India and working closely with the government of Seychelles.

Goal-oriented individual with strong leadership capabilities. Managing team of 60 people with very little staff turnover. Many employees have stayed for more than 10 years.

Ability to do business in an international environment cutting across geographies, ethnic backgrounds, and languages.

Specialties: Business representation in the UK, News Aggregation Services, Web-based application development

-------------


Abhay Aggarwal
Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Content, Infographics, Video, Web and Mobile Apps Development

More

Message

Abhay Aggarwal
Abhay Aggarwal 3rd degree connection3rd
Media Monitoring, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Content, Infographics, Video, Web and Mobile Apps Development
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Contact info

Press Monitor
500+ connections

--
Nearly 24 years experience in dealing with senior executives and business leaders. Two decades experience involving application of mind and discretion.

Strong understanding of business issues at national and international level. Daily interaction with news over 24 years.

Ability to lead complex projects from concept to fully operational status. Have handled projects in the UK, India and working closely with the government of Seychelles.

Goal-oriented individual with strong leadership capabilities. Managing team of 60 people with very little staff turnover. Many employees have stayed for more than 10 years.

Ability to do business in an international environment cutting across geographies, ethnic backgrounds, and languages.

Specialties: Business representation in the UK, News Aggregation Services, Web-based application development


Riaz Haq said...

The Pegasus #spyware revelations cast doubt on the health of #Indian #democracy under #Modi. The inclusion of prominent critics on a list of hacking targets embarrasses the government. #BJP #Hindutva #Fascist https://www.economist.com/asia/2021/07/31/the-pegasus-revelations-cast-doubt-on-the-health-of-indian-democracy



In ancient Hindu lore a winged horse emerges from the milky churn of primeval oceans to become the trusted mount of Indra, king of the heavens. A later tradition says it was instead Mahabali, lord of the demons, who rode the fabulous stallion. Both versions picture a creature strikingly like Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek myth, except that the Indian model is fancier. It sports not one but seven heads.

Contemporary India’s most powerful men could have used those extra heads. Relying on Pegasus—not the mythical horse but a very modern brand of electronic spyware—they seem to have ridden recklessly into danger. A global investigation by a clutch of newspapers and ngos, triggered by the leak of some 50,000 phone numbers in ten countries, casts the government of Narendra Modi in an ugly light as a presumed client of Pegasus’s Israeli creator, the nso Group.