Meta has released an Adversarial Threat Report detailing measures taken by the social media company to dismantle schemes of cyber espionage, coordinated inauthentic behavior, and other harms to public security.
In the quarterly report released this month, Meta reveals a scheme by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan engaging in cyber espionage and coordinated inauthentic behavior. The primary targets of the hybrid operation were journalists, civil society activists and opposition members. Phishing, social engineering, and hacking to coordinated inauthentic behavior were some of the employed techniques used to deceive victims.
In one case, for instance, a phishing e-mail was sent from what was apparently Human Rights Watch with a link. Once the person clicked on it, a malware was secretly installed. The program could then access the webcam, record the desktop, execute Windows commands, and extract and upload files from the victim’s computer.
The operation used websites and online accounts of target groups to obtain personal information about the person and to promote particular narratives about them or on their behalf. They focused on news websites and different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and VKontakte.
Meta’s report classify the scheme as an example of hybrid espionage and coordinated inauthentic behavior campaign.