Activist Rona Wilson targeted by two groups backed by same entity: Washington Post

The Post says that the findings published by SentinelOne showed that a group of dissidents have been under surveillance for nearly a decade now.

Published: 12th February 2022 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2022 10:18 AM   |  A+A-

Rona Wilson

Social activist Rona Wilson (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Activist Rona Wilson, charged with terrorism and lodged in jail in Bhima Koregaon case, was targeted by hackers, including one called ModifiedElephant, whose activity "aligns with Indian state interests", The Washington Post said in a report citing investigations by a California-based cybersecurity firm. 

Last year, cybersecurity experts had revealed that hackers planted incriminating evidence in Wilson's laptop.

Now, a year later, the American newspaper cites SentinelOne to say that Wilson was targeted by two separate groups, including one group "that has been linked to widely documented cyberespionage campaigns against... India’s top foreign adversaries".

It further says that the other group, "responsible for planting documents on the activist's device, dubbed ModifiedElephant by SentinelOne, shared hacking infrastructure with an attacker that researchers have long suspected of being involved in state-sanctioned political espionage".

The Post says that the findings published by SentinelOne showed that a group of dissidents have been under surveillance for nearly a decade now. The findings also offer "new clues about the connections between groups that cybersecurity experts have observed targeting foreign adversaries and domestic critics".

The report, however, did not identify the people who carried out the attacks or the entity that ordered them but notes that "ModifiedElephant's activity aligns with Indian state interests". Principal researcher and co-author of the SentinelOne report Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade said "two separate groups going after the same target suggests they were tasked with the job by the same entity", the daily said.

According to SentinelOne researchers, Wilson received dozens of emails that contained malware designed to infiltrate his computer.

The Washington Post had earlier reported that another forensic analysis found that years before his arrest, an unknown hacker compromised Wilson's computer and planted at least 32 documents, including a letter discussing a plot to assassinate the PM that authorities have cited as evidence.

Three independent experts reviewed the SentinelOne report at The Post’s request and concurred with its conclusions.


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