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Gallery of Surveillance: Bahrain

This is the "FinSpy" spyware produced by the German company FinFisher, found used against activists in Bahrain in 2012. The high density is indicative of obfuscation of the malware code.

Ala'a Shehabi is the co-founder of Bahrain Watch, an NGO that advocates for social justice in Bahrain. She's currently the Deputy Director at the Institute for Global Prosperity in the UK. She's been a vocal activist during the uprisings of 2011 in Bahrain, during which she was arrested and her husband was abducted by the security forces.

Shortly after being released Ala'a started receiving emails purporting to offer information on the Bahraini monarchs. This information was supposedly contained in attachments that, if opened, would stealthily install a spyware on the computer. The spyware was identified as "FinSpy", an surveillance solution developed and sold by the German company FinFisher. During the uprisings between 2010 and 2012, according to Bahrain Watch, dozens of computers were infected through the use of FinSpy, and among them were human rights defenders, politicians, journalists and exiled activists including Saeed Shehabi, founder of Bahrain Freedom Movement and father of Ala'a.

Over the years, FinFisher's products were found used against dissidents and journalists in countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, and more recently Turkey.

Read more

You can read more about the targeting of Ala'a Shehabi and other Bahraini activists in this report by Bahrain Watch. You can also read this article by Motherboard about following legal cases.

Photo by ©Ala'a Shehabi.
This is a driver component of the "FinSpy" spyware.