Civil society organizations (CSOs) that work to protect human rights and civil liberties around the world are being bombarded with persistent and disruptive targeted digital attacks—the same sort of attacks reportedly hitting industry and government. Unlike industry and government, however, civil society organizations have far fewer resources to deal with the problem.
Communities @ Risk: Targeted Digital Threats Against Civil Society, a report by the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, sheds light on an often overlooked digital risk environment.
This report is the culmination of a four year study involving ten civil society groups. Using a mixed methods approach combining malware analysis, interviews, and fieldwork, the study sought to gain greater visibility into the technical, social, and political nature of targeted digital threats. Data from both the technical and contextual aspects of the research inform the report’s main findings.