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Black-Ops Mercenaries On the Internet

by Oui Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 06:32:53 PM EST

Using tools denied by Western adversaries ... Russia, China, India and Korea trying to level the playing field.

Black Cube Targets Cyber-Security NGO at Behest of Leading Israeli Malware Maker | Tikun Olam |

The Israeli TV news magazine, Uvdah and the NY Times have collaborated on, and amplified a major story originally published by AP. It documents an elaborate, and ultimately unsuccessful sting operation on the Canadian cyber-security NGO, Citizen Lab (CL).  The latter is the key organization which has exposed a series of malware attacks by various hacking outfits whose government, police, and intelligence clients, use the surveillance products to spy on citizen activists.  Citizen Lab has documented the use of the Israeli dirty ops company, NSO Group's Pegasus malware by Mexican and Gulf (and many other) government agents to spy on, and even kill dissidents who seek to expose official corruption and who seek the reform their political systems.

Continued below the fold ...

However, more recently NSO felt compelled to escalate its response to such attacks against its hacking activities.  That's because Saudi intelligence agents used Pegasus to track the communications between two dissidents working against the regime abroad.  One of them, the Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was later murdered by Saudi assassins dispatched by the Crown Prince, Mohammed ibn Salman, and his underlings.  It is exceedingly possible that Pegasus had infected either sets of cell phones used by both activists and permitted the killers to track the victim up to the very moment he set foot in the Saudi embassy, where he was ultimately murdered.

In this case, two operatives identified by Uvdah as working on behalf of another Israeli commercial investigations company, Black Cube, approached Citizen Lab staff posing as business clients interested in donating to the NGO's work ...

I've written a number of diaries on this topic throughout the years ...

Saudi Murder Suspect Trained in Offensive Spying

The New York Times broke a story about an unreported August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Erik Prince, George Nader, Donald Trump Jr., Stephen Miller, and Joel Zamel, who had presented a multimillion-dollar proposal for his company Psy-Group to implement a social media manipulation campaign to help elect Trump.

A mercenary (Erik Prince), a Middle East power broker (George Nader), and the head of an Israeli version of #CambridgeAnalytica (Joel Zamel) walk into a bar....

Egypt five years on: was it ever a 'social media revolution'? | The Guardian |


Cambridge Analytica-linked businessman helped start Black Cube, lawsuit claims | Times of Israel - Aug. 28, 2018 |

Vincent Tchenguiz, an Iranian-born British entrepreneur and property tycoon who until 2015 was the largest shareholder in the parent company of the scandal-hit data firm Cambridge Analytica, also played a prominent role in the founding stages of the controversial Israeli business intelligence company Black Cube, and provided it with vital funding, according to a 2013 Israeli lawsuit filed by lawyers for Tchenguiz.

Tchenguiz, whose family is of Iraqi-Jewish origin, fell out with the secretive Israeli company and its founders and sued it for fraud and other alleged offenses, seeking almost a million pounds in damages. The case, which received very little media coverage at the time, was ultimately settled out of court.



Project Raven

Inside the UAE's secret hacking team of American NSA educated mercenaries (Reuters)

Monitoring the Arab Uprising

IDF's New Media - war propaganda through social media (Nov. 2012)

Boeing/Narus helps Egyptian dictatorship fight pro-democracy movement (Nov. 2012)

[Update-1] : linked article expanded …

Project Raven: Secret hacking team of American mercenaries

Two weeks after leaving her position as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. National Security Agency in 2014, Lori Stroud was in the Middle East working as a hacker for an Arab monarchy.

She had joined Project Raven, a clandestine team that included more than a dozen former U.S. intelligence operatives recruited to help the United Arab Emirates engage in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy.

Stroud and her team, working from a converted mansion in Abu Dhabi known internally as “the Villa,” would use methods learned from a decade in the U.S intelligence community to help the UAE hack into the phones and computers of its enemies.

Stroud had been recruited by a Maryland cybersecurity contractor to help the Emiratis launch hacking operations, and for three years, she thrived in the job. But in 2016, the Emiratis moved Project Raven to a UAE cybersecurity firm named DarkMatter. Before long, Stroud and other Americans involved in the effort say they saw the mission cross a red line: targeting fellow Americans for surveillance.


Purple Briefing, Black Brieving

Stroud is the only former Raven operative willing to be named in this story; eight others who described their experiences would do so only on condition of anonymity. She spent a decade at the NSA, first as a military service member from 2003 to 2009 and later as a contractor in the agency for the giant technology consultant Booz Allen Hamilton from 2009 to 2014. Her specialty was hunting for vulnerabilities in the computer systems of foreign governments, such as China, and analyzing what data should be stolen.

In 2013, her world changed. While stationed at NSA Hawaii, Stroud says, she made the fateful recommendation to bring a Dell technician already working in the building onto her team. That contractor was Edward Snowden.

The Citizen Lab: Mapping Hacking Team's "Untraceable" Spyware

Hacking Team advertises that their RCS spyware is "untraceable" to a specific government operator. However, we claim to identify a number of current or former government users of the spyware by pinpointing endpoints, and studying instances of RCS that we have observed. We suspect that agencies of these twenty-one governments are current or former users of RCS: Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, and Uzbekistan. Nine of these countries receive the lowest ranking, "authoritarian," in The Economist's 2012 Democracy Index.5 Additionally, two current users (Egypt and Turkey) have brutally repressed recent protest movements.

Towards resilient cyber security as a Vision 2030 enabler  - BAe

Fire Mueller by BooMan
Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 11:47:19 PM EST

From my diary - Sliding Ethics - 3 Years Ago: Fire Mueller

Same day another blogger @BooMn opinioned  - Hero or FRAUD by sjct

More ...

British MOD Issued DA-notice on Snowden (Aug. 2013)
NSA-GCHQ Espionage - Deceiving the Nation and the World

My six diaries since July 2018 where Black Cube, led by former Mossad spooks, is mentioned here @EuroTrib – archive.


[Update-2] : Earlier writings about the US military involvement with the Emirates, in particular Abu Dhabi.

US Elite Military Taking Mercenary Jobs In Abu Dhabi [Dec. 2012]

Erik Prince’s XE, now Frontier Services, and Halliburton HQ moved to Emirates

Cambridge Analytica 2.0 (EmerData Ltd) Linked to Mercers and Prince

Linked in my diary - Geheimdienste Amyntor - Victor In Chains

Trump White House Weighing Plans for Private Spies to Counter “Deep State” Enemies

The Reuter's story (linked) showed up at Sputnik yesterday. Sordid as it is, I don't expect it to warrant sanitizing by respectable press mice and "citizen journalists".

It will die first, while Mueller's explanation of "hacked", not declassified, national security secrets in  Concord's discovery documents is being decoded.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 07:53:57 PM EST
< despicable >

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince's Business Ties With Netanyahu's Disgraced Chief of Staff | Haaretz - Dec. 6, 2017 |

Vincent Tchenguiz's Consensus Business Group Invests $6 million in Israeli Venture Fund

Key words | Erik Prince | SCL Group | Vincent Tchenguiz | Black Cube | Pinhas Buchris | Unit 8200 | Surveillance | Cybercrime |

My opinion last two years, beware of tunnel vision by focusing solely on Russia and Putin .. thinking of Israel's Netanyahu and the alliance Abu Dhabi / KSA with Salman.


International Coalition to Defeat Democrats and Hillary in 2016

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 31st, 2019 at 08:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 01:07:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 01:11:10 AM EST
The security industry Made in Israel [thx to 9/11]

That's forward thinking, first on airport security and a relentless offense on Internet cyber attacks - Stuxnet. Excellent cooperation between NSA-CIA and Unit 8200 - Mossad.

Ever since the so-called War on Terror to prevent a next attack, the war efforts by the US, Israel and Western states have cause an explosive increase in terror across the globe and a thousandfold increase in deaths, many as collateral damage.

Democratic nations ignore cyber threats in same way they ignored terrorism | JPost |

Western countries are ignoring the severity of the threat posed by cyberattacks in the same way they initially failed to tackle the scourge of terrorism, according to experts that descended on Tel Aviv this week for the Cybertech 2019 conference. The refusal to adequately address the issue, largely the byproduct of a desire to "save face," has thrown a wrench in government-to-government cooperation which, in turn, is contributing to the problem.

Founders and CEOs of the world's top data and cyber risk management firms--including Checkpoint, IBM and Microsoft--highlighted the resulting difficulty of neutralizing a huge volume of daily attacks across multiple platforms, and called for the highest level of collaboration if nations are to stay secure amid lightning-quick changes in the digital realm.

Related reading ...

Social Engineering in the Digital Cyber Age
NSA, Google Inc. and Israel
US, UK Alliance Prepare Iran Attack in 2012

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 09:19:29 AM EST
Not So Deep State On the Surface
When 'Former' Spies Run Wild, Bad Things Happen |MoA|

The UAE hires 'ex-CIA', 'former NSA' and 'ex-soldiers' to spy on dissidents, friends and enemies. It uses tools produced by the NGO Group [Pegasus] which is run by 'alumni of Israel's famous Unit 8200 signals intelligence arm'. When Canadian researchers [Citizens Lab] dig too deep into NGO Group's business they get visits by 'retired Israeli security official' from a company founded by 'former Israeli military officers' who recruit many 'former Mossad agents' [Black Cube].

There is also the 'former MI6 agent' Christopher Steele who created the Dirty Dossier about Donald Trump for the Clinton campaign. Parts of the dossier were likely written by the 'former MI6/GRU double agent' Sergei Skripal who the Brits novichoked and vanished in Salisbury. The international media reaction to that incident was of special interest to the secret military intelligence shop Integrity Initiative which is run by Nigel Donnelly, a 'former British military intelligence official'. The Initiative is financed by the British government.

When I read pieces like those linked above I always presume that the 'former' CIA/NSA/FBI/MI6/8200/Mossad/military folks are not 'former' at all, but active agents on a mission for their original service. Some stories only make sense when one reads them under that premise.

Following links from MoA article about the alliance of intelligence agencies working for one or more government agencies in the Middle East. Of course the autocratic, dictatorial regimes with immense wealth of the Gulf States look with envy towards Israel and the United States where the "democratic" leaders get away with war crimes with impunity. The age old mantra, if you can't beat them, join them!

Raven: Inside the UAE's secret hacking team of American mercenaries | Reuters  - 2 parts |
How the UAE is recruiting hackers to create the perfect surveillance state | The Intercept - Oct. 2016 |
Abu Dhabi Hired American Mercenaries To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War. | BuzzFeed News |
Lawsuits claim Israeli spyware firm helped UAE regime hack opponents' phones | Times of Israel - Aug. 2018 |

A recent diary of mine ...

Seychelles Back-channel Leads to Abu Dhabi

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 9th, 2019 at 05:40:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Role played by Dutch AIVD/MIVD ...

El Chapo
Dark Web Hansa Down
Cozy Bear

... and yes, I'm convinced the Dutch have the most advanced software which includes Pegasus. Israel's Verint runs the wire taps for the Dutch - known as champions in Europe.

Minister Plasterk: I Had No Snooping Idea We Did It

Dutch national security and cooperation with FVEY all changed after July 17, 2014 [MH-17]. This was the Dutch 9/11 moment.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 9th, 2019 at 09:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 11th, 2019 at 08:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You never stopped fighting! The sign on the military vehicle in Germany truly pissed me off - "We gave peace a chance".

With INF treaty at risk, Germans fear new arms race | DW |

Thirty years ago, American nuclear weapons were pulled out of Germany. But with President Donald Trump threatening to leave the INF treaty, a new arms race could flare up. Germany's peace activists are deeply concerned.

    < video >

A thin layer of snow covers a forest clearing near the city of Heilbronn, where people are out walking their dogs. Back in 1985, this area in southwestern Germany was a high-security zone under control of the US Army. And the scene of a fatal accident with far-reaching consequences.

At the time, Larry Nichols was serving as a US solider at the site, in charge of medium-range Pershing 2 nuclear missiles stationed in the clearing. He was under orders to keep their existence a secret.

"It was unbelievable that the people of Heilbronn were unaware of these weapons. It scared me knowing what was stationed here," Nichols remembers. And then, on January 11, 1985, an accident happened on the US base which changed everything ...

I lived in St. Louis during the Cuba Crisis ... a nuclear Armageddon was near .. spread across America, bombers were on stand-by on highest alert - U. S. Air Force Boeing B-52H Stratofortress. I don't want to go through such idiocy again!

A nuclear war was avoided ... fortunately only the Vietnam War grew in anger and size ... Robert McNamara and the RAND study of falling dominoes. We reaaly got them - agent Orange was left behind. Chemical warfare killed one person in Salisbury - shame!

    "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."
    ~ Albert Einstein

    "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Grunt's War | NY Times - Opinion 2017 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 at 02:20:49 PM EST
This item in Sputnik today cracks me up. I haven't tested westworld propaganda on the topic yet. Knowing your interest in NE espionage though is reason enough to drop it. Try to look surprised.

Deep Beijing Surveillance Network Revealed as China Network Exposed

according to a massive data leak on the Beijing group's servers that was identified by the Dutch nonprofit organization GDI Foundation.

According to Victor Gevers, co-founder of GDI Foundation, the Beijing firm SenseNets Technology has "highly detailed and highly sensitive information" on millions of residents in China's Xinjiang which was laid open for anyone with the proper URL.

Have I got this right? jessss a little google tunneling through the world's most formidable, dictatorial fire wall against democracy and free speech reveals all ... sensitive personal information (PSII). LOL.

Did Gevers take public speaking lessons from Bezos or Experian or Facebook or ... Andrew McCabe?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 at 02:30:19 AM EST
Ecology China Style ...

cutting down on waste

Thx for the laughs!

Archive < Reduce Your Ecological Footprint >

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 at 08:59:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 at 03:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 at 09:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 at 03:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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