No Hippo-cracy evident in WhatsApp versus NSO court case
We have all heard about the infamous Israeli cyber security software company NSO group whose most infamous work is the mobile device spying software Pegasus.
According to NSO, Pegasus software is allegedly only sold to “licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight terrorism and serious crime,”. This statement is regularly challenged by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and others. The mighty WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, in turn, owned by Meta, in turn (mostly) owned by The Mighty Zuck, creator of (virtual) worlds and, some may say, destroyer of real ones is also challenging this assertion.
In 2019 Facebook sued the NSO group for unlawfully compromising the accounts of WhatsApp users across the globe after a ‘zero-click’ exploit was found to be targeting WhatsApp software, which was definitely used in the Saudi planned and executed (no pun intended) assassination of the dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
Israel makes absolutely no secret of the fact that its leadership in the Cyber Security industry is a direct result of the feeder channel from ex-military and government spook personnel. The line between business and Israeli state responsibility and involvement in many security businesses is often difficult to pin down, just like some of the borders in the region.
Of course, Nation-states have similar capabilities (of varying quality), the USA has the NSA, the UK has GCHQ, and as for China and Russia…. The majority of security tooling developed by these nations is usually in-house and not for sale. Apart from of course the work of the ‘Equation Group’ part of the NSA’s ‘Office of Tailored Access Operations – TAO’, which may, or may not have been facilitated by contract staff, which of course was stolen, auctioned and ransomed by the very shady Shadow Brokers.
The work of the Equation Group was documented in the Edward Snowden document dump and, of course, he was a contract employee of the NSA. With very limited numbers of highly skilled, errr, professionals, the state/private crossover will always be difficult to manage, control or govern.
Inflatable soap-box rant over, let’s return to the story. Meta (formerly known a Facebook) is suing the Israeli firm NSO in the American courts and has prevented (not for the first time), the NSO group to use its Government clients to claim ‘sovereign immunity’, in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. NSO is represented, amongst others, by KIng&Spalding who have very tight US Government associations.
The plot thickens and thickens. Of course, the dark arts and international ‘diplomacy’ must be in full flow. What, we wonder, will happen to the US Governments antitrust suits against Facebook and another big tech? Big games for big players playing straight into the hands of, let’s say, the Chinese or Russians. Time will probably not tell.
By now you may be wondering what this has to do with the business of Tiberium.
The lifecycle of Cyber technologies is often Government, huge enterprises, smaller businesses, commodities.
Bearing this in mind, this week’s announcement of inexpensive monthly licensing for small businesses at the Ignite event is a very attractive proposition covering Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.
Even better news, Tiberium’s managed service ‘FROST’ fully supports Microsoft Defender for Business including rapid deployment and automated remediation. Our advanced service ‘MYTHIC’ includes threat hunting and direct access to the best analysts.
Personal device intrusion technology is coming down the road at speed. Zero Trust architecture, SASE etc. have their place., We recommend that you consider your mobile endpoints (all of them) as attractive targets and prioritise security.
Let us show you the future. Contact us.
Now. As usual, the tune.
Pegasus is a really beautiful song by The Hollies from the ‘Butterfly Album’ in 1967. It includes the words:
If you keep our secret
Don’t tell anyone
About our magic horse
You can go where you want
I can take you anywhere
Because I’m Pegasus, the flying horse
How many Hollies fans do you think there are in Tel Aviv?