Clicking on the link leads, in fact, to the installation of malware allowing pro-Assad hackers to log keystrokes and to snatch screenshots of the target’s computer, which is effectively put under their control.Other techniques have included hijacking email accounts of opponents to send out phishing messages to their comrades promising urgent information on the movements of government troops.Many Western journalists covering the Syrian conflict have suffered from these so-called phishing expeditions and regularly send alerts to each other warning of new malware techniques.But according to Fire Eye, a San Francisco-based company that advises corporations and governments on cyber threats, pro-Assad hackers also set up a matchmaking site—the company doesn’t give the name—populating it with women’s profiles indicating their age, location and interests, as well as other personal information. Cyber spooks groomed insurgent commanders, political activists and even aid workers on Skype, ensnaring them in “conversations with seemingly sympathetic and attractive women,” according to Fire Eye researchers."The attackers were interested in the kind of information that could yield a military edge to the regime," John Scott-Railton, an independent security researcher who worked on the report, told .Laura Galante, a researcher at Fire Eye who also worked on the report, concurred.Your listing will be on the site until removed, but most recent/recently updated listings are on the top.If you forget your removal code, contact our customer service.
Once they were downloaded, Assad’s spooks could rifle through files, select data to copy, and follow up on the target’s Skype chat logs and contacts for more phishing expeditions.During the last few years, cyber sleuths and researchers have detailed many similar, operations carried out by hackers with links to the Syrian regime, such as the Syrian Electronic Army, among others.But given that these hackers use slightly different tactics, such as using female avatars and a customized version of the spyware Dark Comet Remote Access Tool or RAT (commonly used in Syria's cyber operations), the researchers believe this is a different group. "They're acting differently, they have different infrastructure and they're using different tools that other Syrian groups.Catherine de Medici in the 16th century operated a “Flying Squadron” of beautiful female spies recruited for their skills teasing secrets from lovers at court.And the Germans had seductress Mata Hari in the First World War.