A Meta report has revealed that an online hacking group in Pakistan has targeted people, including military personnel, in both India and Pakistan through fake social media accounts, during the first quarter of the current year.
According to the details, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, recently released its “Adversarial Threat Report, First Quarter 2023” where it gave a detailed account of the action taken against the hacking groups.
In the report, it was revealed that three separate cyber espionage operations in South Asia were linked to a group of hackers. They were known as; Bahamut APT (advanced persistent threat); Patchwork APT; and a state-linked group in Pakistan.
Our team has just put out the latest quarterly adversarial threat report. Read all about all the great work our threat intel investigators do across cyber espionage and coordinated inauthentic behavior: https://t.co/jeOHaIp7H2
— Оlga Belogolova 🌻 (@olgs7) May 3, 2023
The report highlighted fake apps and websites delivering malware at Facebook and Instagram social media platforms, involved in espionage as well as committing financial crimes across the world.
“We took action against about 120 accounts on Facebook and Instagram linked to a hacking group in Pakistan that predominantly targeted people in India and Pakistan, including military personnel in India and among the Pakistan Air Force,” the Meta report said about the state-linked actors in Pakistan.
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On the other hand, Bahamut APT targeted people in Pakistan, and India, including the Kashmir region, including military personnel, government employees, activists, and others. Action was taken against 110 accounts on Facebook and Instagram linked to Bahamut.
The Meta investigation revealed Bahamut APT to be a persistent threat actor that ran campaigns across the internet, including link-shortening services, compromised or attacker-controlled websites, official and spoofed app stores, and third-party hosting providers.
Meanwhile, Patchwork APT targeted people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Tibet region, and China, including military personnel, activists, and minority groups. Meta took action against 50 accounts on Facebook and Instagram linked to it.
Weaponizing social media
Weaponizing social media can have serious consequences, both in terms of individual well-being and the health of democratic societies. It can lead to the spread of misinformation, the polarization of public opinion, and the erosion of trust in institutions and democratic processes.
It is important for individuals, organizations, and governments to be aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them, such as increasing media literacy and investing in technology to detect and combat disinformation campaigns.
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Pakistan has experienced a number of security threats related to the weaponization of social media. State and non-state actors have used social media to spread misinformation and propaganda, to incite violence, and to target individuals and groups who oppose their ideologies or interests.