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Every day, there are hundreds if not thousands of targeted attacks against Tibetan and Uyghur supporters. The vast majority of these target Windows machines through Word documents exploiting known vulnerabilities such as CVE-2012-0158, CVE-2010-3333 and CVE-2009-3129.

In this case, the attackers hacked a Tibetan activist's account and used it to attack Uyghur activists. It indicates perhaps an interesting trend which is exploiting the trust relationships between the two communities. This technique reminds us of a combination between ages old war strategies "Divide et impera" and "By way of deception".

Until now, we haven't seen targeted attacks against mobile phones, although we've seen indications that these were in development.

The current attack took advantage of the compromise of a high-profile Tibetan activist. It is perhaps the first in a new wave of targeted attacks aimed at Android users. So far, the attackers relied entirely on social engineering to infect the targets. History has shown us that, in time, these attacks will use zero-day vulnerabilities, exploits or a combination of techniques.

For now, the best protection is to avoid any APK attachments that arrive on mobile phones via e-mail.

We detect the malware used in this attack as "Backdoor.AndroidOS.Chuli.a".

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