LinkedIn revealed on Thursday that Black Cube, a private espionage company, was responsible for a covert video operation that targeted journalists and activists in Hungary prior to the country’s election last year.
Black Cube, based in Israel, allegedly established a network of false personas that utilized fictitious job posts to interact with their targets on the platform, according to a researcher for Microsoft-owned LinkedIn (MSFT.O).
“Subsequently, video conversations occurred with some of the targets off-platform and clips from those conversations were used as part of a campaign to discredit NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Hungary,” the researcher, Mona Damian, said at the Cyberwarcon conference in Arlington, Virginia.
Damian said a network of fake Black Cube-run LinkedIn accounts had been taken down and that Black Cube’s LinkedIn company page had also been removed “given the high volume of abuse and clear violation of our terms of service.”
Black Cube, which became well known for its undercover operations on behalf of Hollywood rapist Harvey Weinstein, said in a statement that it only did work in relation to litigation and “white collar crime” and operates “according to legal advice.” The company has previously said that it “does not operate in the cyber world.”