company:pegasus

  • Pegasus, ce logiciel israélien dont les gouvernements sont friands pour espionner leurs opposants
    https://www.bastamag.net/Khashoggi-Mansoor-Whatsapp-espionnage-spyware-Pegasus-droits-humains-oppos

    Elle est accusée d’être mêlée à l’affaire Khashoggi, d’être responsable du hackage de Whatsapp révélé il y a peu, l’un de ses logiciels espions est utilisé pour surveiller des défenseurs des droits humains un peu partout dans le monde… Amnesty International la qualifie d’« entreprise incontournable pour les violeurs des droits humains ». La société israélienne NSO Group est la cible d’actions en #Justice pour avoir fabriqué et vendu un spyware à des gouvernements qui l’utilisent pour surveiller dissidents et (...)

    #Décrypter

    / A la une, #Proche_et_Moyen_Orient, Surveillance, fichage, censure : la démocratie en danger ?, Justice, #Atteintes_aux_libertés, Surveillance et (...)

    #Surveillance,fichage,_censure:la_démocratie_en_danger ? #Surveillance_et_biométrie

  • Vous avez entendu parler de ces compagnies israéliennes régulièrement montrées du doigt parce que participant à l’espionnage ou au piégeage d’appareils électroniques à des fins politiques.

    L’une d’entre elles est NSO, pour le logiciel Pegasus, lié à l’assassinat de Jamal Khashoggi et à l’espionnage d’Amnesty International, mais aussi à d’autres saloperies au Mexique, au Panama etc.

    On trouve parmi les actionnaires principaux de NSO, le couple formé du Britannique Stephen Peel et de sa femme, la Canadienne Yana Peel. Lui était membre du conseil d’administration de Global Witness, une organisation de défense des droits humains (!), et elle était la présidente du conseil d’administration d’une grande galerie d’art internationale, Serpentine Galleries.

    Dénoncé par des militants, il a du démissionner en février dernier. Quant à elle, le Guardian ayant rendu ces fait publiquement la semaine dernière, elle a également été poussée à la démission.

    Stephen Peel has stepped down as a member of the Global Witness Board
    Global Witness, le 18 février 2019
    https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/stephen-peel-has-stepped-down-member-global-witness-board

    UK rights advocate co-owns firm whose spyware is ’used to target dissidents’
    Jon Swaine et Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian, le 14 juin 2019
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787319

    Serpentine Galleries Chief Quits, With Harsh Words for Activist Artists
    Alex Marshall, The New-York Times, le 18 juin
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/arts/design/serpentine-galleries-ceo-resigns.html

    #Palestine #NSO #Pegasus #surveillance #Jamal_Khashoggi #Stephen_Peel #Yana_Peel #Global_Witness #Serpentine

  • Une faille de sécurité de WhatsApp utilisée pour installer un logiciel espion israélien
    https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2019/05/14/une-faille-de-securite-de-whatsapp-utilisee-pour-installer-un-logiciel-espio

    WhatsApp a annoncé avoir corrigé la faille, et plusieurs ONG veulent porter plainte contre l’éditeur du logiciel, NSO group. Une importante faille de sécurité touchant la fonction « appel téléphonique » de WhatsApp a été corrigée lundi 13 mai, a annoncé l’entreprise, propriété de Facebook. La faille pouvait permettre d’installer, à l’insu de l’utilisateur, un logiciel espion sur son téléphone, si l’utilisateur ne décrochait pas lorsqu’il recevait l’appel « infecté ». Difficile à détecter, la faille de (...)

    #NSO #WhatsApp #Pegasus #spyware #géolocalisation #activisme #écoutes #sécuritaire #surveillance #CitizenLab (...)

    ##Amnesty

  • WhatsApp voice calls used to inject Israeli spyware on phones | Financial Times
    https://www.ft.com/content/4da1117e-756c-11e9-be7d-6d846537acab
    https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fprod-upp-image-read.ft.com%2Fa5e1805e-75a7-11e9-be7d-6d846537acab?s

    A vulnerability in the messaging app WhatsApp has allowed attackers to inject commercial Israeli spyware on to phones, the company and a spyware technology dealer said.

    WhatsApp, which is used by 1.5bn people worldwide, discovered in early May that attackers were able to install surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing up targets using the app’s phone call function.

    The malicious code, developed by the secretive Israeli company NSO Group, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs, said the spyware dealer, who was recently briefed on the WhatsApp hack.

    WhatsApp is too early into its own investigations of the vulnerability to estimate how many phones were targeted using this method, a person familiar with the issue said.

    #israël #piraterie

    • repris par Le Monde sans #paywall

      Une faille de sécurité de WhatsApp utilisée pour installer un logiciel espion israélien
      https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2019/05/14/une-faille-de-securite-de-whatsapp-utilisee-pour-installer-un-logiciel-espio

      WhatsApp a annoncé avoir corrigé la faille, et plusieurs ONG veulent porter plainte contre l’éditeur du logiciel, NSO group.

      Une importante faille de sécurité touchant la fonction « appel téléphonique » de WhatsApp a été corrigée lundi 13 mai, a annoncé l’entreprise, propriété de Facebook. La faille pouvait permettre d’installer, à l’insu de l’utilisateur, un logiciel espion sur son téléphone, si l’utilisateur ne décrochait pas lorsqu’il recevait l’appel « infecté ».

      Difficile à détecter, la faille de sécurité en question ne pouvait être trouvée que par des équipes de haut niveau.

      Selon le Financial Times, cette faille a été exploitée pour installer les logiciels espions Pegasus de l’entreprise israélienne NSO Group, qui fournit ses logiciels aux forces de sécurité de nombreux pays dans le monde, y compris à des régimes peu ou pas démocratiques. Selon l’ONG antisurveillance Citizen Lab, un avocat militant pour la défense des droits de l’homme a été visé dimanche 12 mai par Pegasus. Le programme permet notamment de collecter la géolocalisation de sa cible, de lire ses messages et e-mails, et de déclencher à son insu le micro et la caméra de son téléphone.

      « Le groupe NSO vend ses produits à des gouvernements connus pour leurs violations répétées des droits de l’homme, et leur fournit les outils pour espionner leurs opposants et critiques », écrit l’ONG Amnesty International dans un communiqué publié ce 13 mai. « En août 2018, un employé d’Amnesty International a été ciblé par Pegasus, comme l’ont été des militants et des journalistes en Arabie saoudite, au Mexique et aux Emirats arabes unis. »

      L’ONG a annoncé qu’elle allait déposer une plainte contre le ministère de la défense israélien, autorité de tutelle de NSO Group, « qui a ignoré les monceaux de preuves liant NSO Group à des attaques contre des défenseurs des droits de l’homme. […] Tant que des produits comme Pegasus sont vendus sans contrôle effectif, les droits et la sécurité des salariés d’Amnesty International, des journalistes et des dissidents dans le monde entier sont en danger ». Plusieurs associations israéliennes ont déposé des plaintes similaires.

      Sans citer le nom de NSO Group, WhatsApp a confirmé que la faille avait été exploitée par « une entreprise privée dont il est connu qu’elle travaille avec ces gouvernements pour installer des logiciels espions sur des téléphones mobiles ». « Nous avons briefé un certain nombre d’organisations de défense des droits de l’homme à ce sujet », a déclaré WhatsApp.

      Les utilisateurs de WhatsApp – 1,5 milliard de personnes dans le monde, selon l’entreprise – sont incités à mettre à jour leur application si elle ne s’est pas faite automatiquement.

    • Israeli Firm Tied to Tool That Uses WhatsApp Flaw to Spy on Activists
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/technology/nso-group-whatsapp-spying.html

      SAN FRANCISCO — An Israeli firm accused of supplying tools for spying on human-rights activists and journalists now faces claims that its technology can use a security hole in WhatsApp, the messaging app used by 1.5 billion people, to break into the digital communications of iPhone and Android phone users.

      Security researchers said they had found so-called spyware — designed to take advantage of the WhatsApp flaw — that bears the characteristics of technology from the company, the NSO Group.

  • « Des recherches ont montré que le logiciel espion Pegasus de NSO Group a été utilisé à travers le monde pour attaquer des personnes de la société civile, dont au moins 24 défenseurs des droits humains, journalistes et parlementaires au Mexique, un membre du personnel d’Amnesty International, les dissidents saoudiens Omar Abdulaziz, Yahya Assiri et Ghanem Al Masarir, le militant des droits humains Ahmed Mansoor (lauréat du prix Martin Ennals pour les défenseurs des droits humains) et probablement Jamal Khashoggi avant sa mort. »

    https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/02/spyware-firm-buyout-reaffirms-urgent-need-for-justice-for-targeted-activist

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson and Yaniv Kubovich Nov 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-company-negotiated-to-sell-advanced-cybertech-to-the-saudi

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-company-negotiated-to-sell-advanced-cybertech-to-the-saudi

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.
    >> $6 billion of Iranian money: Why Israeli firm Black Cube really went after Obama’s team
    According to the complaint, the affair began with a phone call received by a man identified as a European businessman with connections in the Gulf states. On the line was W., an Israeli dealing in defense-related technologies and who operates through Cyprus-based companies. (Many defense-related companies do business in Cyprus because of its favorable tax laws.) W. asked his European interlocutor to help him do business in the Gulf.

    FILE Photo: Two of the founders of NSO, Shalev Julio and Omri Lavi.
    Among the European businessman’s acquaintances were the two senior Saudi officials, Malihi and Qahtani.
    On February 1, 2017, W. and the businessman met for the first time. The main topic was the marketing of cyberattack software. Unlike ordinary weapons systems, the price depends only on a customer’s eagerness to buy the system.
    The following month, the European businessman traveled to a weapons exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, where a friend introduced him to Malihi, the Saudi businessman.
    In April 2017, a meeting was arranged in Vienna between Malihi, Qahtani and representatives of Israeli companies. Two more meetings subsequently took place with officials of Israeli companies in which other Israelis were present. These meetings took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus, where Israeli cybercompanies often meet with foreign clients.
    >> Snowden: Israeli firm’s spyware was used to track Khashoggi
    The meetings were attended by W. and his son. They were apparently friendly: In photographs documenting one of them, W. and Qahtani are shown after a hunting trip, with the Saudi aiming a rifle at a dead animal.
    In the Vienna meeting of April 2017, the Saudis presented a list of 23 systems they sought to acquire. Their main interest was cybersystems. For a few dozens of millions of dollars, they would be able to hack into the phones of regime opponents in Saudi Arabia and around the world and collect classified information about them.
    According to the European businessman, the Saudis, already at the first meeting, passed along to the representatives of one of the companies details of a Twitter account of a person who had tweeted against the regime. They wanted to know who was behind the account, but the Israeli company refused to say.

    Offices of Israeli NSO Group company in Herzliya, Israel, Aug. 25, 2016Daniella Cheslow/AP
    In the June 2017 meeting, the Saudis expressed interest in NSO’s technology.
    According to the European businessman, in July 2017 another meeting was held between the parties, the first at W.’s home in Cyprus. W. proposed selling Pegasus 3 software to the Saudis for $208 million.
    Malihi subsequently contacted W. and invited him to Riyadh to present the software to members of the royal family. The department that oversees defense exports in Israel’s Defense Ministry and the ministry’s department for defense assistance, responsible for encouraging exports, refused to approve W.’s trip.
    Using the initials for the defense assistance department, W. reportedly said “screw the D.A.” and chartered a small plane, taking with him NSO’s founder, Shalev Hulio, to the meetings in the Gulf. According to the European businessman, the pair were there for three days, beginning on July 18, 2017.
    At these meetings, the European businessman said, an agreement was made to sell the Pegasus 3 to the Saudis for $55 million.
    According to the European businessman, the details of the deal became known to him only through his contacts in the defense assistance department. He said he had agreed orally with W. that his commission in the deal would be 5 percent – $2.75 million.
    But W. and his son stopped answering the European businessman’s phone calls. Later, the businessman told the police, he received an email from W.’s lawyer that contained a fake contract in which the company would agree to pay only his expenses and to consider whether to pay him a bonus if the deal went through.
    The European businessman, assisted by an Israeli lawyer, filed a complaint in April 2018. He was questioned by the police’s national fraud squad and was told that the affair had been transferred to another unit specializing in such matters. Since then he has been contacted by the income tax authorities, who are apparently checking whether there has been any unreported income from the deal.
    The European businessman’s claims seem to be substantiated by correspondence Haaretz has obtained between Cem Koksal, a Turkish businessman living in the UAE, and W.’s lawyers in Israel. The European businessman said in his complaint that Koksal was involved in mediating the deal.
    In a letter sent by Koksal’s lawyer in February of this year, he demanded his portion from W. In a response letter, sent in early March, W.’s attorney denied the existence of the deal. The deal had not been signed, the letter claimed, due to Koksal’s negligence, therefore he was due no commission or compensation of any kind.
    These issues have a wider context. From the claims by the European businessman and Koksal’s letter, it emerges that the deal was signed in the summer of 2017, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed began his purge of regime opponents. During that purge, the Saudi regime arrested and tortured members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen accused of corruption. The Saudis also held Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri for a few days in a Riyadh hotel.
    In the following months the Saudis continued their hunt for regime opponents living abroad, which raised international attention only when the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul came to light in October.
    It has recently been claimed that NSO helped the Saudi regime surveil its opponents. According to an article in Forbes magazine and reports from the Canadian cyber-related think tank Citizen Lab, among the surveillance targets were the satirist Ghanem Almasrir and human rights activist Yahya Asiri, who live in London, and Omar Abdulaziz, who lives in exile in Canada.
    These three men were in contact with Khashoggi. Last month, Edward Snowden, who uncovered the classified surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency, claimed that Pegasus had been used by the Saudi authorities to surveil Khashoggi.
    “They are the worst of the worst,” Snowden said of NSO, whose people he accused of aiding and abetting human rights violations.
    NSO’s founders and chief executives are Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. The company is registered in Cyprus but its development headquarters is in Herzliya. In 2014 the company was sold to private equity firm Francisco Partners based on a valuation of $250 million.
    Francisco Partners did not respond to Haaretz’s request for comment.
    In May, Verint Systems offered to buy NSO for $1 billion, but the offer was rejected. The company is awash in cash. Earlier this month all its employees went on vacation in Phuket, Thailand. Netta Barzilai, Lior Suchard, the Ma Kashur Trio and the band Infected Mushroom were also flown there to entertain them.
    The Pegasus system developed by NSO was a “one-click system,” meaning that the victim had to press on a link sent to him through phishing. The new system no longer requires this. Only the number of the SIM card is needed to hack into the phone. It’s unknown how Pegasus does this.
    Technology sources believe that the technology either exploits breaches in the cellphone’s modem, the part that receives messages from the antenna, or security breaches in the apps installed on a phone. As soon as a phone is hacked, the speaker and camera can be used for recording conversations. Even encoded apps such as WhatsApp can be monitored.
    NSO’s operations are extremely profitable.
    The company, which conceals its client list, has been linked to countries that violate human rights. NSO says its products are used in the fight against crime and terror, but in certain countries the authorities identify anti-regime activists and journalists as terrorists and subject them to surveillance.
    In 2012, NSO sold an earlier version of Pegasus to Mexico to help it combat the drug cartel in that country. According to the company, all its contracts include a clause specifically permitting the use of its software only to “investigate and prevent crime or acts of terror.” But The New York Times reported in 2016 that the Mexican authorities also surveilled journalists and lawyers.
    Following that report, Mexican victims of the surveillance filed a lawsuit in Israel against NSO last September. This year, The New York Times reported that the software had been sold to the UAE, where it helped the authorities track leaders of neighboring countries as well as a London newspaper editor.
    In response to these reports, NSO said it “operated and operates solely in compliance with defense export laws and under the guidelines and close oversight of all elements of the defense establishment, including all matters relating to export policies and licenses.
    “The information presented by Haaretz about the company and its products and their use is wrong, based on partial rumors and gossip. The presentation distorts reality.
    “The company has an independent, external ethics committee such as no other company like it has. It includes experts in legal affairs and international relations. The committee examines every deal so that the use of the system will take place only according to permitted objectives of investigating and preventing terror and crime.
    “The company’s products assist law enforcement agencies in protecting people around the world from terror attacks, drug cartels, child kidnappers for ransom, pedophiles, and other criminals and terrorists.
    “In contrast to newspaper reports, the company does not sell its products or allow their use in many countries. Moreover, the company greatly limits the extent to which its customers use its products and is not involved in the operation of the systems by customers.”
    A statement on W.’s behalf said: “This is a false and completely baseless complaint, leverage for an act of extortion by the complainants, knowing that there is no basis for their claims and that if they would turn to the relevant courts they would be immediately rejected.”

  • Saudis used Israeli spyware to track Khashoggi: Snowden - World News

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/saudis-used-israeli-spyware-to-track-khashoggi-snowden-138669

    Software made by an Israeli cyber security firm was used to track murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower claimed Nov. 7.

    Addressing a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel via a video call from Russia, Edward Snowden said Pegasus spyware sold to governments by NSO Group Technologies was used to track opponents.

    “The Saudis, of course, knew that Khashoggi was going to go to the consulate, as he got an appointment. But how did they know his intention and plans?”

    Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

  • Revealed: Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays

    Haaretz investigation spanning 100 sources in 15 countries reveals Israel has become a leading exporter of tools for spying on civilians. Dictators around the world – even in countries with no formal ties to Israel – use them eavesdrop on human rights activists, monitor emails, hack into apps and record conversations
    By Hagar Shezaf and Jonathan Jacobson Oct 20, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-israel-s-cyber-spy-industry-aids-dictators-hunt-dissident

    During the summer of 2016, Santiago Aguirre divided his time between part-time university lecturing and working for an organization that helps locate missing people. Mexico was then in the news internationally because of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall on the American border with its southern neighbor. However, for Aguirre, a Mexican human rights activist, the problems of the present were far more pressing than any future wall. At the time, he was in the midst of a lengthy investigation to solve the mystery of the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 students in the city of Iguala two years before. It was becoming increasingly clear that his findings were incompatible with the results of the investigation conducted by the government.
    Aguirre wasn’t concerned when he received a series of text messages containing broken links. “Please help me with my brother, the police took him only because he is a teacher,” one message read. And another: “Professor, I encountered a problem. I am sending back my thesis, which is based on your dissertation, so that you can give me your comments.” The messages looked no different from many of the legitimate messages he received every day as part of his work. And therein lay the secret of their power. When Aguirre clicked on the links, however, he was inadvertently turning his smartphone into a surveillance device in the hands of the government.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

    “Those text messages had information that was personal,” Aguirre notes, “the kind of information that could make the message interesting for me so I would click. It wasn’t until later that I actually thought – well, it is actually pretty weird that I received three messages with broken links.”

    Mexican human rights activist Santiago Aguirre, left, and colleague Mario Patron. Centro Prodh
    The discovery had a brutally chilling effect on the work of his organization. For the first time, he says, speaking with Haaretz by phone, he really and truly feared that every step he took was being watched, and that perhaps his family too was under surveillance.
    “Over the past 10 years, we have a figure of around 30,000 people who disappeared” in Mexico, Aguirre explains. “Many places in Mexico are controlled by organized crime. It has under its influence and power the authorities of some regions of the country, so they use the police to detain and then disappear people that they think are the enemy. I can tell you of many examples in which the Mexican military, for example, has presented the work human rights defenders as [benefiting] the drug cartels and organized crime. So there’s a pattern of thinking about the human rights sector in Mexico as a sector that needs to be surveilled.”

    The public revelation of the fact that Aguirre was under surveillance was made possible by cooperation between Mexican organizations and the Canadian research institute Citizen Lab. It turned out that Aguirre was one of a group of 22 journalists, lawyers, politicians, researchers and activists who were being tracked by local authorities. An examination of Aguirre’s telephone revealed that the links in the text messages were related to Pegasus spyware, which the authorities were using.
    But how did Pegasus get to Mexico? The trail of the malware led to Herzliya Pituah, the prosperous Tel Aviv suburb that is one of the major hubs of Israel’s high-tech industry. It’s there, in a narrow stretch of land between Israel’s coastal highway and the Mediterranean Sea, that NSO Group, the company that developed this Trojan-horse program, has its headquarters. Pegasus, which Forbes magazine called “the world’s most invasive mobile spy kit” in 2016, allows almost unlimited monitoring, even commandeering, of cellphones: to discover the phone’s location, eavesdrop on it, record nearby conversations, photograph those in the vicinity of the phone, read and write text messages and emails, download apps and penetrate apps already in the phone, and access photographs, clips, calendar reminders and the contacts list. And all in total secrecy.
    Pegasus’ invasive capability was rapidly transformed into dazzling economic success. In 2014, less than five years after entering the world from a space in a chicken coop in Bnei Zion, a moshav in the country’s center, 70 percent of the company’s holdings were purchased for $130 million. The buyer was Francisco Partners, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which specializes in high-tech investments. That deal followed Francisco Partners’ earlier purchases of Israeli firms Ex Libris and Dmatek, According to Reuters, a year after the NSO takeover, Francisco Partners enjoyed a profit of $75 million.
    But the big money of NSO is only a small part of the big picture. Within a few years, the Israeli espionage industry has become the spearhead of the global commerce in surveillance tools and communications interception. Today, every self-respecting governmental agency that has no respect for the privacy of its citizens, is equipped with spy capabilities created in Herzliya Pituah.

  • Une société israélienne accusée d’avoir aidé les EAU à espionner Hariri et le Qatar
    https://french.almanar.com.lb/1024190

    Le gouvernement des Emirats arabes unis a utilisé une technologie de piratage téléphonique israélienne afin d’espionner ses rivaux politiques et régionaux ainsi que des membres des médias. La société israélienne aurait elle-même participé aux cyber-attaques, a rapporté vendredi le New York Times. NSO Group, basé à Herzliya, a utilisé son controversé logiciel espion Pegasus afin de transformer les smartphones en appareils d’écoute. Afin de vendre Pegasus aux Émirats arabes unis, le NY Times a noté que la (...)

    #NSO #smartphone #spyware #écoutes #sécuritaire #exportation #surveillance

  • Retombées désagréables : de gros soucis logistiques à prévoir pour l’opération #Barkhane

    Attaques en Syrie : comment Poutine coupe les ailes de l’armée de l’air en stoppant l’accès aux avions de transport Antonov - Challenges.fr
    https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/comment-poutine-coupe-les-ailes-de-l-armee-de-l-air-en-stoppant-l-acces-a

    Selon nos informations, rejoignant celles de Ouest-France, le groupe russe Volga-Dniepr a annoncé à l’OTAN qu’il arrêterait de fournir des avions de transport #Antonov_124 aux forces de l’alliance atlantique, dont la France, dès la fin de l’année 2018. Le groupe russe claque ainsi la porte du contrat #Salis, signé dans le cadre de l’OTAN, qui permettait aux armées européennes d’accéder aux fameux Antonov via un système d’heures de vol prépayées. Si Volga Dnepr est un groupe privé, le rôle du Kremlin, dans le contexte ultra-tendu du fait des possibles frappes franco-américaines en Syrie, apparaît évident. « Nous avons reçu des signaux forts selon lesquels cette décision est due aux sanctions américaines », peut-on lire dans un mail interne de l’armée française consulté par Challenges.

    Bien sûr, cette décision n’obère pas l’intégralité des capacités de projection des forces françaises. Celles-ci peuvent toujours s’appuyer sur 14 A400M (à la disponibilité certes très variable) et sur une flotte de C-130, de Transall et de Casa C295. L’armée de l’air peut aussi régulièrement compter sur l’appui de C-17 des alliés britanniques ou canadiens. La projection des forces peut également se faire par voie maritime puis terrestre, même si la solution est bien plus longue et complexe. La sortie de Volga Dnepr du contrat Salis n’en reste pas moins un coup dur pour les forces françaises. Pourquoi ? Parce que celles-ci, malgré l’arrivée de l’A400M d’Airbus, restent dépendantes des fameux Antonov 124 pour le transport de charges très lourdes (hélicoptères, blindés...)

    à la disponibilité certes très variable !… #certes !
    Doux euphémisme…

    • Assemblée nationale ~ Compte rendu de réunion de la commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées
      Mardi 20 septembre 2011 – Séance de 15 heures – Compte rendu n° 49
      http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/cr-cdef/10-11/c1011049.asp

      M. Louis Giscard d’Estaing, rapporteur. Nous apportons dans notre rapport des éléments sur la société ICS, mais je ne peux pas vous renseigner sur sa nationalité. Elle utilise plusieurs types d’avions en fonction de la charge à transporter : des Antonov 124, des Iliouchine 76, des Airbus A300, des Boeing 747 et des Hercule C130. Elle s’est engagée à baser un Antonov 124 sur l’aéroport de Châlons-Vatry, avec pour objectif de réduire les coûts. Les Antonov de la société Salis étaient basés à Leipzig en Allemagne, ce qui imposait des vols de positionnement chaque fois qu’ils devaient venir sur les bases françaises avant de partir sur les théâtres d’opérations, généralement en Afghanistan.

      Le général Philippe Carpentier qui est le responsable du centre multimodal de transport l’a reconnu lors de son audition le 6 avril dernier : à terme, même si nous disposons d’une capacité suffisante en A400M et MRTT, nous aurons toujours besoin d’un volume incompressible de 350 heures de vol par an d’Antonov 124 pour le fret hors gabarit. Se pose dès lors la question de savoir s’il vaut mieux affréter 350 heures de vol ou acheter un Antonov 124, sachant que les besoins de nos forces peuvent varier selon les années.

    • À propos des Antonov 124 : soupçons de #corruption (article du 4/12/2017)

      L’armée lâche son fournisseur de gros porteurs Antonov alors que le PNF enquête - Challenges.fr
      https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/l-armee-lache-son-fournisseur-de-gros-porteurs-antonov-alors-que-le-pnf-e

      Fin de partie pour ICS. Selon nos informations, le contrat liant l’armée à cette société française spécialisée dans l’affrètement d’avions de transport Antonov 124 n’a pas été renouvelé par le ministère des armées. Celui-ci a décidé le 30 novembre de ne pas procéder au renouvellement annuel prévu par cet accord signé en 2015, une décision confirmée à Challenges par l’hôtel de Brienne. Un nouvel appel d’offres devrait donc être organisé dans au second semestre 2018, «  sur la base d’une analyse nouvelle des besoins et de l’offre  », explique-t-on dans l’entourage de la ministre des Armées Florence Parly. Selon une source proche du dossier, c’est le cabinet de la ministre qui aurait imposé cette décision au CSOA (Centre du soutien des opérations et des acheminements), la division spécialisée dans le transport basée sur la base aérienne de Vélizy-Villacoublay. Ce dernier préconisait le renouvellement du contrat ICS.

      L’affaire est loin de se résumer à une simple renégociation commerciale. ICS était l’un des deux canaux utilisés par l’armée pour affréter des Antonov 124 russes et ukrainiens, seuls appareils de transport de taille suffisante pour le transport stratégique de certains matériels très lourds, une capacité essentielle pour la projection des force françaises. L’autre canal, toujours actif, est le recours à un contrat dit Salis, signé par plusieurs pays de l’OTAN pour accéder aux fameux Antonov. L’armée de l’air dispose bien d’une flotte d’avions de transports, mais celle-ci ne peut répondre qu’à un quart des besoins, du fait des retards de livraisons de l’A400M et de l’absence de très gros porteurs comme l’Antonov 124 ou le C-5 Galaxy américain. Le CSOA a donc toujours tenu à avoir une double source pour accéder aux Antonov 124, denrée rare sur le marché : un contrat privé (ICS), et le contrat Otan dit Salis.
      […]
      L’autre raison, plus officieuse, c’est que le fameux contrat liant cette micro-société à l’armée sent la poudre. Les conditions du contrat avaient déjà été dénoncées en mars dernier dans un rapport du député François Cornut-Gentille, dévoilé par Challenges et le Monde, qui évoquait des soupçons de #favoritisme, des prix jugés excessifs et des #irrégularités dans la passation de marchés publics. Dès son arrivée, la ministre des armées Florence Parly, avait d’ailleurs saisi la justice au titre de l’article 40 du code de procédure pénale, qui enjoint à toute autorité ayant connaissance d’un crime ou d’un délit d’en informer le procureur de la République.

    • Interrogée par Challenges en mars dernier, ICS assurait être victime d’une campagne de désinformation lancée par la concurrence russe, dont SAS serait l’aiguillon. ICS attaquait aussi régulièrement ses rivaux : la société s’était plainte en 2015 de l’attribution d’un marché de transport pour les forces spéciales à son concurrent Pegasus Air Drop, créé par Pierre-Louis Lavie de Rande... lui aussi ancien du CSOA.

      La mise à l’écart d’ICS ouvre la voie à un nouvel appel d’offres, qui risque de se limiter à une poignée de candidats, tant l’Antonov 124 est une denrée rare sur le marché. La grosse vingtaine d’An-124 disponibles dans le monde est en effet détenue par seulement trois compagnies, qui fournissent les avions aux affréteurs privés et même à l’Otan : une ukrainienne (Antonov DB) et deux russes (une privée, Volga-Dnepr, et une société publique, TTF Air 224). Quel que soit le scénario choisi, la France restera donc dans un état de dépendance inquiétant.

      (conclusion de l’article de décembre 2017…)

    • et donc, l’article de mars 2017

      Transport militaire : l’incroyable dépendance russe de la France - Challenges.fr
      https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/transport-militaire-l-incroyable-dependance-russe-de-la-france_463147

      Un Scud. Le député François Cornut-Gentille a jeté un sacré pavé dans la marre militaire en présentant devant la commission des finances de l’Assemblée nationale, mardi 28 mars, un rapport au vitriol consacré au transport stratégique de l’armée française.

      Le constat est double :
      • un, l’entrée en service de l’A400M ne va pas supprimer le recours des forces françaises aux gros porteurs ukrainiens Antonov An-124, aux capacités d’emport cinq fois supérieure à celle de l’avion européen
      • deux, cette situation met la France en situation de dépendance vis-à-vis de l’Ukraine, et surtout de la Russie. La grosse vingtaine d’An-124 disponibles dans le monde est en effet détenue par seulement trois compagnies : une ukrainienne (Antonov DB) et deux russes (une privée, Volga-Dnepr, et une société publique, TTF Air 224).

      La conclusion du député fait froid dans le dos. «  Dans les faits, ce sont les Russes et les Ukrainiens qui ont la maîtrise de la projection de nos forces sur les théâtres extérieurs, assène le député dans son rapport. C’est une véritable épée de Damoclès qui est suspendue au-dessus de la France.  » Une arme redoutable dans les mains du Kremlin, dont Vladimir Poutine s’est déjà servi, estime François Cornut-Gentille : l’élu de la Haute-Marne rappelle que la société russe TTF Air 224 a interrompu ses vols au profit de la France en septembre 2015… soit un mois seulement après l’annulation du contrat des porte-hélicoptères Mistral à la Russie, prononcée en août. «  La mise à disposition d’Antonov 224 devient un enjeu diplomatique, déplore François Cornut-Gentille. Une nouvelle dégradation des relations avec ces deux Etats [Ukraine et Russie] pourrait paralyser totalement les capacités de projection aérienne de la France. En dépit des grandes phrases, l’autonomie stratégique est en réalité virtuelle.  »

      98% de pièces russes
      Un compte-rendu de réunion de l’Agence européenne de défense et de la NSPA, (l’agence de soutien logistique) de l’OTAN, consulté par Challenges, confirme cette dépendance. Ce document, adressé en juin 2015 aux responsables du transport stratégique de l’armée française, évoquait des «  risques politiques de rupture de service élevés en raisons de la dépendance à des moyens sous contrôle de la Russie  ». Car si les Antonov sont des avions ukrainiens, «  98% des pièces de rechange viennent de Russie, les 2% restants de l’est de l’Ukraine  », soulignait le compte-rendu.

    • Transport aérien : soupçons de trafic d’influence dans l’armée (10/03/2018)
      https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/secrets-d-info/secrets-d-info-10-mars-2018

      C’est une véritable « bombe judiciaire » au sein de l’armée française.

      Favoritisme, irrégularités sur les marchés publics, usage de faux, et même trafic d’influence… La liste des soupçons sur lesquels enquête depuis l’été 2017 le Parquet national financier (PNF) agite le ministère des Armées.
      […]
      En octobre 2016, la Cour des comptes est la première à relever des «  anomalies  » dans le recours régulier à ICS. Le ministère de la Défense, alors dirigé par Jean-Yves Le Drian est informé, mais aucune procédure interne n’est déclenchée. Contacté, l’ancien ministre de la Défense, n’a pas souhaité répondre. Quelques mois plus tard, un courrier de dénonciation est envoyé par un mystérieux corbeau à la presse, au ministère de la Défense et à des sociétés concurrentes. Le dossier finit par atterrir sur le bureau des juges. À l’intérieur se trouvent des documents internes à ICS et des échanges de mails avec des responsables de l’état-major. «  Une entreprise de déstabilisation orchestrée par un ancien salarié  », pour le patron d’ICS, Philippe de Jonquières. Dans le petit milieu des entreprises privées qui concourent aux marchés du CSOA - elles sont une dizaine - les concurrents se frottent les mains, mais s’inquiètent de voir la justice s’intéresser à ce marché. «  C’est un marigot fait de contrats opaques, de clientélisme et de menaces contre ceux qui osent parler  » commente le responsable d’une entreprise du secteur.

      Les dysfonctionnements au sein du transport stratégique attisent la curiosité du député LR François Cornut-Gentille, qui publie en mars 2017 un rapport de la Commission des finances sur le sujet. «  On a eu du mal à comprendre les prix, qui sont difficilement explicables, commente le député. Curieusement, l’armée française utilise ICS qui est beaucoup plus cher. J’ai été assez saisi devant l’inertie des états-majors, du ministère. En dépit des questions qu’on a formulées, on n’a eu aucune explication claire.  »

    • Antonov ready to offer NATO AN-124 support as Volga-Dnepr bows out - The Loadstar
      https://theloadstar.co.uk/antonov-ready-offer-nato-124-support-volga-dnepr-bows

      Antonov Airlines is ready to provide any required additional support to the EU and NATO’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme, following the exit of Volga-Dnepr, the other major operator of the AN-124 aircraft.

      … 50% plus cher que les Russes…

      According to the German media, last year Volga-Dnepr performed 973 hours for SALIS, while Antonov operated for 629 hours. Antonov set its fee at €37,500, while Volga-Dnepr’s flying hour charge was €23,300.

      The largest user of SALIS services was the German armed forces, which reserved 1,080 hours for 2017 and 980 hours for 2018, and the French Air Force.

      As a French MP noted, replacing the AN-124 with the A400M military transport aircraft would require five aircraft instead of one, and the cost of flights would triple.

  • The UAE Spends Big on Israeli Spyware to Listen In on a Dissident | Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/25/the-uae-spends-big-on-israeli-spyware-to-listen-in-on-a-dissident

    In attacking the iPhone of human rights defender Ahmed Mansour, the Emirati government reportedly bought a rare, zero-day, Israeli exploit of Apple’s iOS.

    When a government seeks to rein in a political opponent by listening in on his calls, reading his text messages, and spying on his meetings, how do they go about doing so? In the case of the United Arab Emirates and pro-democracy activist Ahmed Mansoor, they sent him a short text message.

    New secrets about torture of Emiratis in state prisons,” the Aug. 10 and 11 SMS messages to Mansoor read. The texts included a link, and had Mansoor clicked it, his phone would have turned into a powerful surveillance tool for an entity that researchers believe is the Emirati government. #Pegasus, the software used against Mansoor, allows its operator to record phone calls and intercept text messages, including those made or sent on nominally encrypted apps such as Viber and WhatsApp. It can mine contact books and read emails. The software can also track its subject’s movements and even remotely turn on the phone’s camera and microphone.
    […]
    It is unclear how much money the UAE purportedly paid to the shadowy Israeli firm that created Pegasus, the #NSO_Group, but Marczak said it was likely that the firm’s contract with the Gulf nation was in the range of $10 million to $15 million. The size of that contract, he added, would depend on how many targets the UAE would have hired NSO to surveil.

    NSO reportedly sells its surveillance tools to governments around the world, and the UAE appears to be one of its biggest clients, judging by the company’s use of Emirati domains. Citizen Lab also documented the use of Pegasus in countries like Mexico, where it was used to target a Mexican journalist.

    The Pegasus software utilized a chain of three zero days in Apple’s mobile operating system to turn iPhones into highly capable, multifunction surveillance tools.

  • CITE: The $1 billion city with no residents
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/06/business/test-city/index.html

    In the arid plains of the southern New Mexico desert, between the site of the first atomic bomb test and the U.S.-Mexico border, a new city is rising from the sand.

    Planned for a population of 35,000, the city will showcase a modern business district downtown, and neat rows of terraced housing in the suburbs. It will be supplied with pristine streets, parks, malls and a church.

    But no one will ever call it home.

    The CITE (Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation) project is a full-scale model of an ordinary American town. Yet it will be used as a petri dish to develop new technologies that will shape the future of the urban environment.

    The $1 billion scheme, led by telecommunications and tech firm Pegasus Global Holdings, will see 15-square-miles dedicated to ambitious experiments in fields such as transport, construction, communication and security.

    CITE will include specialized zones for developing new forms of agriculture, energy, and water treatment. An underground data collection network will provide detailed, real-time feedback.

  • Israël : El Al aura aussi une low cost, UP | Air Journal
    http://www.air-journal.fr/2013-11-28-israel-el-al-aura-aussi-une-low-cost-up-591191.html

    Le PDG d’El Al Elyezer Shkedy a déclaré : « nous lançons aujourd’hui une marque nouvelle et dynamique, UP, qui est une déclaration de renouveau et répond à l’évolution des besoins du monde de l’aviation. Nous rejoignons la tendance de l’aviation internationale et les majors, tout en restant attentifs aux préférences variées des passagers »

    La compagnie nationale israélienne a donc choisi sa stratégie suite à l’ accord de ciel ouvert signé avec l’Union Européenne en juin dernier, et qui sera mis en place progressivement d’ici 2018 : attaquer sur leur terrain les low cost européennes comme easyJet (qui lancera en février sa sixième liaison vers Tel Aviv depuis Berlin justement), Germanwings, Jetairfly, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines, Transavia, Vueling ou Wizz Air. Mais aussi se préparer à l’arrivée de Ryanair, qui annonçait en juin des plans pour desservir Israël depuis Brême et Baden-Baden en Allemagne, Kaunas en Lituanie, Eindhoven aux Pays-Bas, Oslo en Norvège ou depuis la Sicile.