US Issues Warning Over Commercial Spyware

US Issues Warning Over Commercial Spyware

US government security experts have issued new guidance for possible targets of commercial spyware on protecting themselves from unwarranted surveillance.

“Some governments are using commercial surveillance software to target dissidents, journalists & others around the globe who they perceive as critics,” warned the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) in a Twitter post.

“Commercial surveillance tools are also being used in ways that pose a serious counterintelligence and security risk to US personnel and systems.”

The notice explained that the spyware is being deployed to target mobile and other internet-connected devices using Wi-Fi and cellular data connections.

“In some cases, malign actors can infect a targeted device with no action from the device owner. In others, they can use an infected link to gain access to a device,” it said.

Issued jointly by the NCSC and State Department, the guidance document warned that spyware could monitor phone calls, device locations and virtually any content on a device, including text messages, files, chats, messaging app content, contacts and browsing history.

Among the advice for potential targets was to update software regularly, never click on links in unsolicited messages, encrypt and password-protect devices and regularly

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