Jan 03 2018

Turkey reinvestigates 30,000 accused of using mobile app

In the light of new technical discoveries, Turkish intelligence has started reinvestigating at least 30,000 people it formerly believed to have been accessing a mobile messaging application linked to the Islamist group blamed for the 2016 coup attempt, pro-government newspaper Milliyet said.

The Turkish government considers ByLock usage to be proof of membership of a terrorist organisation, but the police and judiciary last week began reconsidering the cases of 11,480 people investigated, charged or detained for accessing the mobile application after it was discovered that many of them had been misdirected to the IP address.

Lawyer Ali Aktaş teamed up with cyberforensics experts last month and discovered that malware - a term used to refer to a variety of intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware - had been utilised in order to give the false appearance that other users were accessing the ByLock programme.

After Aktaş’ discovery, a statement by the Ankara chief public prosecutor’s office said the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government calls the Fethullahist Terror Organisation (FETÖ), had deliberately created a series of telephone applications under the name “Mor Beyin” and directed unsuspecting people to the ByLock app against their will in order to hide real users.

Aktaş said an important discrepancy discovered between the IP addresses of those who had genuinely downloaded the application and those misdirected to it could lead to 30,000 out of 40,000 suspects accused of using the mobile app being found innocent.

 

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