Hackers sell access to email and chat to politicians and activists

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A Russian-speaking hacker group for hire has access to the personal online communications of 3,500 prominent individuals. These individuals include presidential candidates, journalists and human rights activists. The group mainly focuses on Gmail, Protonmail and Telegram accounts.

This is what the Dutch cybersecurity researcher Feike Hacquebord told during the Black Hat Europe Conference 2021. He has been following the hacker group called RocketHack for months. Discovered a webpage in October 2020 that the group uses to monitor victims.

RocketHack has infiltrated the email and Telegram accounts, computers and Android phones of as many as 3,500 individuals over the past four years. The victims range from journalists, human rights activists and politicians to telecom engineers and IVF doctors.

Hacquebord’s discovery proves that not only companies like Israel’s NSO Group conduct hacks for the government. There is also an underground industry of hacker collectives that tap everyone’s digital information at the right price; whether it be a politician or a jealous husband.

How RocketHack works

RocketHack’s revenue model is simple, says Hacquebord. The group “goes after the most private and personal data

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