Poor Ethiopia is Rich in Computer Espionage

With a much less technical knowledge, the Ethiopian regime apparently bought commercial spyware, essentially off the shelf, and hire an Italian 'Hacking Team' to spy citizen living abroad
With a much less technical knowledge, the Ethiopian regime apparently bought commercial spyware, essentially off the shelf, and hire an Italian ‘Hacking Team’ to spy citizen living abroad

By WND,

Amid all the reports of spying on Americans by the U.S. government, through the National Security Agency, FBI and others, the complaint filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of a man identified only by the pseudonym of Mr. Kidane takes allegations to a whole new level.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington alleges the Ethiopian government infected his computer so that it could wiretap his private Skype calls and monitor his family’s every use of the computer for months on end. 

“We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating an American’s computer in America, listening to his calls, and obtaining access to a wide swath of his private life,” said EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo.

“The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented history of human rights violations against anyone it sees as political opponents. Here, it wiretapped a United States citizen on United States soil in an apparent attempt to obtain information about members of the Ethiopian diaspora who have been critical of their former government. U.S. laws protect Americans from this type of unauthorized electronic spying, regardless of who is responsible.”

The EFF said a forensic examination of the computer revealed the spyware, which is made and sold to governments by the Gamma Group of Companies, was installed when Kidane opened a Microsoft Word document.

There was an attachment with a program called FinSpy, and that program over months recorded his activities on the computer. It was discovered because the spyware left traces of the files it copied and surreptitiously sent to a secret control server located in Ethiopia and controlled by that government, the claim alleges.

“The problem of governments violating the privacy of their political opponents through digital surveillance is not isolated – it’s already big and growing bigger,” Cindy Cohn, the EFF legal director, said. “Yet despite the international intrigue and genuine danger involved in his lawsuit, at bottom it’s a straightforward case. An American citizen was wiretapped at his home in Maryland, and he’s asking for his day in court under longstanding American laws.”

Officials with the EFF said the attack apparently is part of a systematic program by the Ethiopian government to spy on perceived political opponents in the Ethiopian diaspora around the world.

They said human rights agencies and news outlets elsewhere have made related claims.

And they said Ethiopia is not alone. They said CitizenLab, a team of University of Toronto researchers, has discovered evidence that governments around the world are using FinSpy and other technologies to spy on human rights and democracy advocates.

EFF reports, “Essentially, the malware took over our client’s computer and secretly sent copies of his activities, including Skype calls, web searches and indications of websites visited [and] other activity, to the Ethiopian government.”

“This case is important because it demonstrates that state-sponsored malware infections and can indeed are occurring in the U.S. against U.S. citizens. It seeks to demonstrate that warrantless wiretapping is illegal and can be the basis of a lawsuit in the United States, regardless of who engages in it,” EFF said.

The complaint explains FinSpy can record Internet telephone calls, text messages, and file transfers transmitted through Skype, record every keystroke on the computer, and take a picture of the contents displayed on a computer’s screen. It can even covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone even when no Skype calls are taking place.

The complaint said the Internet Protocol to which the spyware sent data was inside Ethiopia, and was under control of the state-owned Ethio Telecom communications company.

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14 thoughts on “Poor Ethiopia is Rich in Computer Espionage

  1. It is Woyanne's world of deceit character nature , spying on others entities to stay on power to prolong the shoplifting and looting criminal way of life, as long as it is acceptable by their masters , which translates into , Birds with the same feather flow together .

  2. The Woyane thieves are the only critters who show up at others dinner table uninvited and steal the dinning utensils at the end of the dinner. We are dealing with free loading layers and broad daylight thieves.

    1. Guest
      You added j to you pseudo to be different. Good for you you. How about you change pseudo name to Abebe like you deadbeat midget frogy Woyane prime minister. Always tortured and uncomfortable in your own skin.

  3. @ Goitom, you are stupid. Why do you pull bullshit out your ass and think anyone even pays attention to worthless garbage coming out your filthy mouth. Go to your Tigray recycled trash online websites and tell your elementary fairy-tales over there.

      1. Nobody cares about your exterior. We know your interior and you have more in common with Woyane, so we see u 2 as the same. If looks like a duck & talks like a duck, then its a "duck" in our eyes. Go to where your belief system is accepted because its not accepted here.

  4. SOME FACTS ABOUT THE WEBSITE TESFANEWS:

    THIS WEBSITE IS RUN BY ARABS WHO HAVE DEEP INTERESTS TO DEVIDE THE HABESHA PEOPLE.
    THEY PROMOTE HATE BETWEEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS. EVEN THE COMMENTS HERE ARE FABRICATED. EACH COMMENT COMRISES HATE. NEARLY EACH COMMENT COMES FROM THE TESFANEWS ADMINISTRATORS. THE FINAL GOAL IS TO TRANSFORM ARTIFICIAL ERITREA INTO A ARAB MUSLIM COUNTRY. IF YOU DONT WANT TO LIVE ONE DAY LIKE THE CHRISTIANS IN EGYPT, SYRIA, IRAQ OR OTHER MUSLIM DOMINATED COUNTRY, YOU HAVE TO RESIST THE BAD PROPAGANDA OF THE DICTATORCHIP OF ISSAYAS AFWERKI.

      1. Na acha irda aka.

        We are sick of you anti human behavior.

        WE WANT PEACE. WE DONT WANT YOUR BAD ARTICLES WHICH ARE INSULTING AND FULL OF HATE AGAINST OUR HABESHA BROTHERS AND SISTERS. ALWAYS WEYANE HERE WEYANE THERE DOING THIS DOING THAT. BLA BLA BLA. WE WANT PEACE. DONT YOU UNDERSTAND THIS. WE ARE THE YOUNG GENERATION WHO DOESNT WANT YOUR OLD BACKWARD HATE. SO CHOOSE YOUR ARTICLES YOU POST.

  5. What tesfa news doesn't mention is that those morons keep sensitive information and that of their members on their computers. So when any of these shabia sponsored terrorist try to enter Ethiopia they will be arrested at the airport. Woyanes spy work at best, was when they recorded G7 leader Berhanu Nega confessing to receiving $500,000 through the Eritrean Government. The drones that Ethiopia built last year and the more sophisticated ones it purchased from Israel is intended mainly for shabia. Should Isayas experience one of his chemical imbalance in his brain and try to attack across the Mereb, Ethiopia will have a clear target to aim its wrath. It will be the end of your Tigrayan leader in Asmara and the appointment of a new Tigrayan leader of Eritrea.

  6. Oh keep fooling yourselves and stuff your pocket tax payer or Aid Donner money by spreading that the lie .Ethiopia regime will pay you or spear you some money.Thanks WEB

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