Israel sells spyware to Arab countries

Israel sells spyware to Arab countries

Israel sells spyware to Arab countries

Through the mediation of the Israeli authorities, NSO Group has entered into multimillion-dollar deals with Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The Israeli government has mediated a number of deals to sell spyware from NSO Group Technologies to the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries to help spy on dissidents, Haaretz reported.

According to the newspaper,

the company has concluded multimillion-dollar deals with Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, as well as the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah (UAE). The amount of one of these contracts was $ 250 million.

“A product sold in Europe for $ 10 million can be sold to the Gulf countries 10 times more expensive,” the source said.

According to the publication, representatives of the Israeli government took part in a number of meetings between Arab intelligence officials and top managers of the NSO, some of these negotiations were also held in Israel.

It is noted that NSO Group cooperated only with governments and official organizations, but did not distinguish between democratic and totalitarian countries.

According to the newspaper,

a special department of the NSO Group is engaged in the sale of spyware to the
countries of the Persian Gulf. Each country was assigned a different code name, such as Subaru (Saudi Arabia),
BMW (Bahrain) or Jaguar (Jordan). It is also noted that the Israeli authorities have banned the NSO Group from
cooperating with Iran’s ally Qatar.

According to company employees,

despite claims that NSO Group carefully regulates the use of software only

to track criminals and suspected terrorists, in fact, such checks are not performed.

The Pegasus software, developed by the company, allows you to monitor and control phones through the

WhatsApp app, secretly controlling its cameras and microphones from remote servers and clearing personal
data and geolocation. In particular, the latest version of the Pegasus 3 program allows you to jailbreak your
phone in just a few hours with just a phone number. In addition, developers can remotely control the program,

disable it, or view the collected data in real-time.

Interestingly, the program self-destructs if the device on which it is installed crosses the border of Israel, Iran, Russia,

China or the United States.

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