Sat Oct 20th, 2018 at 07:23:05 AM EST
Saudis Used Israeli Spyware to Track Khashoggi Associate, Leading Dissident | Tikun Olam |
It's well known the the leading spyware package bought by repressive regimes, intelligence agencies, and corporate malefactors is Pegasus, which was created by the Israeli hacking company, NSO Group. Its development has allowed NSO to thrive financially and become an attractive target for major corporate interests.
More below the fold ...
Apparently, companies like Blackstone Group and Verint are drawn to the revenue potential of the product, but willing to ignore the major moral conflicts that it engenders; at least until NGOs like Access Now intervene to warm them of the moral hazard.
Now, we must factor in a new and alarming element to this moral calculus. Until now, Pegasus has been used to monitor the communications of targeted individuals who are identified by its users as troublesome or threatening to various regimes. Its use has been confirmed by Citizen Lab in numerous countries, most notably in Mexico [NYT] according to a multi-part investigative series published by The New York Times. But as far as we know (and the secrecy with which Pegasus is employed don't permit us to know fully how it's used), the product has never been instrumental in potentially harming or killing its targets. Until now.
Saudi use of Pegasus against its critics and "enemies"
The Washington Post reports today that Canadian-Saudi dissident, Omar Abdelaziz, provided ten hours of recorded negotiations he conducted with two Saudi agents who confirmed implicitly that government agents had hacked him cell phone and knew about projects he had devised with murdered Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Citizen Lab further confirmed that they used Pegasus to do so.
Related reading about Verint, Narus and Pegasus from my diaries ...
○ Dutch Seek Their Own 'Patriot Act'
○ Dutch Are Champs with 42k Internet/Phone Taps (Verint)
○ Apple iPhone, Israel's Unit 8200 and Spying on Human Rights Advocates
○ Founder of Narus Ori Cohen, Hard to Trace his Roots