At least 50 overseas government employees targeted in spyware attack

Hackers using spyware have targeted the smartphones of at least 50 U.S. government employees in multiple countries, the White House said Monday, citing measures to protect government officials and the public from digital espionage. introduced new measures.

“Efforts to identify additional targeted officials are continuing and, obviously, many more cases cannot be ruled out,” a White House official said in a call Monday, adding that officials were He mentioned that he is stationed in ten countries.

It is unclear when the attack took place, but many outlet reported that the iPhones of about 10 State Department employees will be targeted in 2021 by hackers using malicious software developed by an Israeli company.

signed by President Biden presidential decree On Monday, it aimed to curb spyware attacks by setting guidelines for the companies that create them.

The executive order gives the president the power to prohibit companies that create spyware from working with the U.S. government.

The order will allow White House officials to remove software from companies that created spyware found to have been used to target activists, limit political dissent, and spy on Americans. He said Biden would be given the power to ban.

We can also prohibit sales to the U.S. government if we find that we are doing business with a foreign government with a poor track record of human rights violations.

“We have clearly identified the proliferation and exploitation of spyware as a threat to national security,” the official said. “The threat of exploitation around the world is also relevant to our core foreign policy interests.”

In 2021, approximately 12 State Department employees were victims of targeted spyware attacks.
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If intelligence agencies discover that certain commercial spyware platforms were used to target U.S. government employees, that would also be subject to the new restrictions.

A senior Biden administration official said, “We needed to set the standard that if a company is known to be selling to a country engaging in these activities, that in itself is a red flag.”

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