Technology

Inside the battle for the world’s most powerful cyber tool that the US bought and is now trying to ban

The most powerful network technology in the world belonged to the United States – before they decided to ban its import.

Israeli technology company NSO created a version of Pegasus Smartphone spyware called Phantom in 2019 could only be sold to US government agencies, according to a report published on Friday.

Drug Enforcement Agency, Secret Service and US Army held discussions with Israeli spyware company NSO

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Drug Enforcement Agency, Secret Service and US Army held discussions with Israeli spyware company NSOCredit: Getty
Pegasus promises to crack encrypted messages on iPhone and Android

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Pegasus promises to crack encrypted messages on iPhone and AndroidCredit: Getty

Here are seven things you need to know about cyberweapon.

BUY AND TEST OF FBI PEGASUS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation purchased and tested the software, but details of the purchase and testing were never made public until this week, according to the New York Times in their extensive reporting.

The report details that FBI agents “purchased new smartphones at local stores and set them up with fake accounts, using SIM cards from other countries,” as Pegasus could not get in. to US devices.

As US attorneys argued over the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing the software, the FBI extended the contract for the Pegasus system and allegedly “increased the fee to NSO by approximately $5 million.”

According to the report, The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service and the US military also held discussions with the Israeli spyware company.

COUNTRIES HAVE USED IT TO SPY

Pegasus promises to crack encrypted messages on iPhone and Android.

It is used to prevent terrorism and fight organized crime, an example of which is arrest El Chapo, Mexican drug lord.

“Since NSO introduced Pegasus to the global market in 2011, it has helped Mexican authorities capture Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo,” the report said.

However, this spyware has also been used in abusive ways, according to the report detailing the effects of the technology on international relations.

“The US made a series of calculations in response to these developments – secretly acquiring, testing, and deploying the company’s technology, even as it denounced the company publicly and sought to restrict their access to key American suppliers.”

US BANS WEAPONS

Ultimately, the United States rejected Pegasus after much deliberation, and subsequently banned the import of the technology.

An FBI spokeswoman told the Times that the office analyzes new technologies “not only to explore potential legitimate uses, but also to fight crime and protect both the American people and their civil liberties.” we.”

“That means we regularly identify, evaluate, and test technical solutions and services for a variety of reasons, including possible operational and security concerns they may have. can be put in the wrong hands.”

The United States publicly rebuked NSO in November and named the technology a national security risk.

The Department of Commerce has added NSO to its Entities list, which prohibits the company’s products from entering, leaving, or transferring from one organization to another within the country.

MOTHER’S PHONE IS EXCECTED

Americans quickly learned that there was an Israeli malware that could can infect iPhone and Android.

The technology can be installed into smartphones by tricking unsuspecting victims into clicking a link.

However, new versions of spyware can be downloaded to mobile phones without the user needing to do anything.

Media reports at the time said that a technology leak in July brought spyware back into focus.

In 2019, Pegasus software is associated with WhatsApp Attacks US Alliesaccording to the messaging app’s CEO Will Cathcart.

CYBERWEAPONS ‘OUT OF CONTROL’

Israeli and American citizens alike have delved into conspiracy theories about cyberweapons.

However, Biden administration officials denied this possibility to The Times, saying the US decision to ban the technology had nothing to do with the decades-old alliance between the nations, but everything to do with it. to reforming a dangerous company.

A former US ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk also disagrees with the deeper conspiracies.

“NSO is providing the means for states to spy on their own people,” he said

“From my point of view, it’s simple – This issue has nothing to do with Israel’s security. It’s about something out of control. “

Software that helped Mexican authorities capture Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo

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Software that helped Mexican authorities capture Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El ChapoCredit: AP

https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4566074/cyber-weapon-pegasus-smartphone-nso-fbi/ Inside the battle for the world’s most powerful cyber tool that the US bought and is now trying to ban

TaraSubramaniam

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