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UPDATE 1-Israeli firm's spyware used against Ethiopian dissidents -Canadian group

UPDATE 1-Israeli firm's spyware used against Ethiopian dissidents -Canadian group
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

TORONTO/TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Surveillance software from Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems Ltd was used in an espionage campaign targeting Ethiopian dissidents living outside the East African nation, a Canadian research institute said on Wednesday.

Citizen Lab at the University of Torontos Munk School of Global Affairs said it found evidence Ethiopian dissidents in Britain, the United States and other nations were targeted with emails seeking to infect their computers with surveillance tools that Elbit sells to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Elbit shares fell 1 percent in early Nasdaq trade, compared with a 0.1 percent rise in the Nasdaq Composite Index. They dropped 1.3 percent in Tel Aviv.

Citizen Lab, which helps human rights activists defend themselves against spy software, earlier this year reported on attacks in Mexico using spyware produced by Israels NSO Group.

An Elbit representative had no immediate comment on the groups latest report. Ethiopian Communications Minister Negeri Lencho declined comment on the report.

Citizen Lab said the attacks, which began in 2016 and continued through this year, sought to infect computers of Ethiopian dissidents with the PC Surveillance System, or PSS, made by Elbits Cyberbit unit. The system can extract a wide variety of information from computers, including emails, passwords, audio conversations, and screenshots.

The campaign focused on individuals linked to Oromiya, Ethiopias largest region by size and population, which has been the subject of a crackdown by the national government since late 2015, according to Citizen Lab.

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