Over years of working with journalists, human rights groups, and civil society around the world, we have witnessed a growing imbalance of power between highly capable threat actors and the communities they’re targeting.
Journalists and human rights defenders are up against more adversaries who are becoming better equipped to perpetrate advanced digital attacks against those they want to silence. These adversaries are using their entire arsenal of tools and expertise, making it more difficult to detect and mitigate targeted attacks without significant support from a wider stakeholder group — threat sharing between civil society, threat researchers, and private sector. The more we understand the offensive tactics being deployed against civil society, the better we’re able to design effective defensive strategies to protect ourselves from these advanced threat actors.
The MONITOR Project applies lessons learned from industry to build networks of civil society organizations with the ability to detect, respond to, and share information around digital attacks for greater security resilience.
At the heart of our approach is connecting at-risk communities with civil society groups working on information security to promote threat information sharing and leveraging support from key private sector partners. We accomplish these goals through:
Fostering Threat Information Sharing: The more we know, the better we’re able to support the communities we care about and design better protections. We work with CiviCERT and others to promote threat information sharing via trusted channels, expanding the collective knowledge of targeted attacks against journalists, human rights groups, and broader civil society, and building a robust network of community members who may benefit from this information.
Private Sector Engagement: Recognizing that the expertise, reach, and resources of private sector tend to exceed those of at-risk populations, Internews is working to leverage this in order to better support civil society targeted by advanced threats, through:
- Joint threat research projects
- Long-term threat tracking, particularly of APT groups
- Access to critical platforms such as antivirus, which many human rights and media groups are unable to afford
In-region Expertise: There are very few organizations around the globe focused on researching and analyzing attacks specifically targeting civil society. Internews has focused on building the capacity and skills of in-region experts to more efficiently and effectively analyze digital attacks perpetrated by highly capable actors. This includes capacity building grants to build out regional threat labs.