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Kurdish spyware suspect faces espionage charges

Traces of guilt

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A suspect who allegedly used spyware to snoop on Turkish government computers on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) faces charges punishable by up to ten years behind bars in Turkey.

The supposed perp, identified only by his initials "R Ç", allegedly planted the malicious code on x-rated websites. He succeeded in infecting systems maintained by the Turkish General Staff (which oversees Turkey's military) and Turkey’s intelligence agency, Milli Istihbarat Teskilati (MIT), according to local reports.

Quite why workers at these organisations were allowed to visit grumble flick sites, much less get infected in the process, isn't explained.

Documents swiped from compromised machines were allegedly passed onto PKK operatives by R Ç. The suspect was originally arrested on suspicion of cybercrime back in November but the charges were expanded following the discovery of links to the PKK. Data reportedly recovered from the suspect's computer included documents showing evidence of an "online friendship" with Murat Karayilan, the commander of PKK in northern Iraq.

The PKK has fought an armed campaign for an independent, socialist Kurdish state in the historic region of Kurdistan since the 1970s. NATO, the US and the European Union list it as a terrorist organisation. ®

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