Jul 5, 2018

Report: Israeli contractor tried to sell top cyberweapon on dark web

A Trojan horse made of malware infected devices at Tel Aviv University's Cyber Week conference. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

An employee of NSO Group, an Israeli contractor known for its surveillance tools, is being charged for stealing the firm's internationally renowned "Pegasus" cell phone spyware and trying to sell it on the dark web for $50 million, according to the newspaper Globes.

Why it matters: When nations lack cyber espionage tools, they turn to contractors for off-the-shelf tools. Mexico was caught spying on politicians, lawyers and journalists with Pegasus last year. Pegasus is serious stuff, giving full access to a phone for surveillance or other purposes.

The details: In February, the unnamed 38-year old employee allegedly googled how to circumvent NSO's theft detection system and downloaded Pegasus.

  • On April 29, he was fired for unrelated reasons, only eight months into his tenure.
  • In May, the defendant began to google how to sell the stolen software on the black market.
  • He then offered to sell the software on the dark web to a buyer who, ultimately, contacted NSO.

The big picture: The software is substantially more powerful and stealthy than the threats most people face every day. For obvious reasons, Israeli law limits to whom NSO can sell their products. In the hands of a criminal network or terrorist group, Pegasus could give them espionage capabilities on par with certain governments.

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NASCAR driver Ryan Newman hospitalized after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Monday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Racing driver Ryan Newman was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed at the Daytona 500 on Monday, NASCAR said in a statement.

The big picture: The 42-year-old was leading the final lap of the race, won by Denny Hamlin, when his car flipped in the fiery crash. President Trump tweeted after the crash, "Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCARdriver!"

Go deeper: Trump takes presidential limousine for lap at Daytona 500

Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails WH "censorship"

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
Bolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.