Hack-for-Hire “Dark Basin” mercenaries

Targets include judges, MPs, journalists and ordinary folks

Firms suffer hacking assaults on a daily basis. The newest identified victim was Honda, which announced that its computer systems had been locked down by ransomware on June 9th. Tales about the firms suspected of doing the hacking, though, are rarer, stating that it had unearthed one of many biggest-known groups of such workaday, mercenary hackers, which it has dubbed “Dark Basin”.

1000’s of people and hundreds of organizations globally have been targeted with cyber-espionage techniques in a multi-year campaign by the Dark Basin group

Linked to Indian firm BellTroX InfoTech Services, the group apparently labored “on behalf of their clients towards opponents involved in excessive profile public events, criminal cases, financial transactions, news stories and advocacy.”

Though the group targeted financial providers and pharmaceuticals players for its clients — together with one campaign against those investigating market manipulation by German payment processor Wirecard AG — it frequently focused efforts on advocacy and civil society groups.

These include Greenpeace, the Rockefeller Family Fund, Public Citizen and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dark Basin phished for information from groups working on the #ExxonKnew campaign, which alleged ExxonMobil hid data about climate change for many years, and people concerned in trying to preserve net neutrality in the US, the report claimed.

Findings point out that there’s likely a large and rising market for hacking-for-hire services like this, with powerful organizations outsourcing cyber-espionage to third parties to maintain plausible deniability of their involvement, whereas posing a major threat to open democratic societies.

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