A new Android surveillanceware possibly used by the Iranian government has been used to spy on over 300 individuals belonging to minority groups. The malware, dubbed BouldSpy, has been attributed with moderate confidence to the Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FARAJA). Targeted victims include Iranian Kurds, Baluchis, Azeris, and Armenian Christian groups. "The spyware may also have been used in efforts to counter and monitor illegal trafficking activity related to arms, drugs, and alcohol," Lookout said, based on exfiltrated data that contained photos of drugs, firearms, and official documents issued by FARAJA. BouldSpy, like other Android malware families, abuses its access to Android's accessibility services and other intrusive permissions to harvest sensitive data such as web browser history, photos, contact lists, SMS logs, keystrokes, screenshots, clipboard content, microphone audio, and video call recordings. It's worth pointing out that BouldSpy refers to the same Android malware that Cyble codenamed DAAM in its own analysis last month. Evidence gathered so far points to BouldSpy being installed on targets' devices via physical access, potentially confiscated after detention. This theory is bolstered by the fact that the first locations gathered from victim devices are mostly concentrated around Iranian law enforcement establishments and border control posts. This is a worrying trend as it seems that the Iranian government is using whatever means necessary to crack down on minority groups within the country. The use of malware to spy on individuals is a major violation of privacy and human rights. It is important that the international community is aware of these violations and puts pressure on the Iranian government to end this practice.
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