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Israel cyber firm sells iPhone spyware to Saudi Arabia

June 9, 2021 at 9:45 am

Mobile phone, on 6 September 2016 [Flickr]

Quadream, an Israeli cyber company that provides hacking software, has been selling iPhone spyware to Saudi Arabia since 2019, Israeli media revealed yesterday.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said Quadream was founded in 2016 by three Israelis – two cyber security experts and a former senior official in Israel’s military intelligence.

Citing sources and documents, Haaretz said that the company uses a front in Cyprus to sell its Reign spyware, which allows the extraction of all data from iPhones, enables the activation of the device’s camera and microphone and tracks the user’s location without their knowledge. The spyware can be deposited on the user’s phone without their knowledge and they do not need to click on any link.

Quadream cannot export this technology under Israeli laws, the newspaper said, adding that this was the reason why it used the Cypriot front.

The buyers, Haaretz said, could be both “legitimate” countries and those that are considered oppressive by the international community, including Saudi Arabia and Ghana.

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