From WhatsApp to Signal: They warn of a secret Israeli startup financed from the US that could hack encrypted applications - Start Up Gazzete
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From WhatsApp to Signal: They warn of a secret Israeli startup financed from the US that could hack encrypted applications


The company’s co-founders previously worked for Israeli intelligence agencies.

A secret Israeli surveillance company, funded from the United States, is capable of hacking encrypted applications such as WhatsApp or Signal, warns a Forbes article published last week.

Paragon Solutions does not have a website, and there is not much information about the company on the Internet either, but according to LinkedIn, the company has more than 50 employees. Industry sources consulted by Forbes argue that the product of the surveillance startup, founded in 2019 and based in Tel Aviv, will allegedly give the Police the power to remotely access encrypted instant messaging communications, such as WhatsApp, Signal , Facebook Messenger or Gmail. An industry executive noted that “software” also promises to gain more durable access to a device, even when it is rebooted. The spy product allegedly hacks messaging applications using vulnerabilities in the main ways the “software” works.

The company’s co-founder, director and main shareholder is Ehud Schneorson, former commander of Unit 8200, a division of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Corps. The other co-founders – CEO Idan Nurick, Technical Director Igor Bogudlov and Vice President for Research Liad Avraham – are former Israeli spies, while the Hebrew country’s co-founder and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak is also on the council. On the other hand, the company has at least one major US financial sponsor: Battery Ventures, based in Boston (Massachusetts).

Industry experts estimate that Paragon is trying to differentiate itself from other vendors with its new program. Thus, a senior executive of the firm assured that the company will only sell its surveillance products to countries that comply with international standards and respect fundamental rights and freedoms, while – he affirms – the entity for now has no clients. In addition, the company allegedly promises access to instant messaging applications on one device, rather than full control of the entire phone.



The controversy over Pegasus ‘malware’


The news comes amid the scandal surrounding the Pegasus “malware” developed by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group. A joint investigation by 17 media outlets revealed in July that spyware – the license of which NSO Group sells to governments to track terrorists and criminals – had been used to “hack” the smartphones of journalists, activists, business executives. and politicians from different countries.

The document states that at least 50,000 devices have been infected worldwide and that “malware” is believed to be capable of stealing all information from a “smartphone”, including names and phone numbers of each contact, text messages and from social networks, emails, etc.


Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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