Following the continuous revelations surrounding the dubious malware seller NSO Group, it has been revealed that a rival outfit has been targeting iPhones with its own exploits.
While controversy has erupted around Israeli spyware seller NSO Group, another, lesser-known spyware outfit from Israel appears to have been assisting in the hacking of iPhones all over the world.
According to Reuters, the business QuaDream is a smaller, “lower profile” surveillance vendor with similar hacking skills to NSO and was created in part by two former NSO personnel. According to Reuters, QuaDream, which is reportedly based in Tel Aviv, hasn’t received much attention in the American press until now, but, like NSO, it has exploited “several of the same flaws” in Apple’s software to let its clients hack iPhone users.
According to reports, QuaDream sells a “zero-click” exploit, which is a sophisticated malware that may stealthily penetrate phones without the need of phishing. According to the Google experts that evaluated it, that vulnerability, dubbed REIGN, is likely to be nearly comparable to FORCEDENTRY, a terrifying NSO cyber hack deemed “one of the most technically advanced exploits” ever devised.
Similarly, QuaDream’s spyware appears to have terrifying capabilities, with the ability to entirely and thoroughly enter a person’s digital existence. According to Reuters, REIGN has the capacity to:
..take control of a smartphone, scooping up instant messages from services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal, as well as emails, photos, texts and contacts, according to two product brochures from 2019 and 2020 which were reviewed by Reuters. REIGN’s “Premium Collection” capabilities included the “real time call recordings”, “camera activation – front and back” and “microphone activation”, one brochure said.
QuaDream’s clientele is unknown, though the company has purportedly worked for the governments of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Singapore, according to Reuters. According to the outlet, it may have also worked for the Indonesian government.
Israel has a strong surveillance sector and is said to be one of the world’s largest distribution centres for cyberweapons. CobWebs Technologies, Bluehawk CI, Cognyte, and Black Cube, four other Israeli surveillance organisations, were all removed off of the corporation formerly known as Facebook’s platforms in December when it was revealed they were engaged in continuing espionage activities targeting tens of thousands of people.
In Israel, where the company is claimed to have close relations with the government and has frequently been utilised as a diplomatic instrument, NSO’s repeated controversies have caused substantial grief. The recent QuaDream disclosures are unlikely to assist that scenario.