• Fri. Aug 18th, 2023

Microsoft investigation forced spyware vendor to shut down

May 7, 2023
Microsoft investigation forced spyware vendor to shut down
Harper Stewart

Israeli company QuaDream was caught red-handed and forced to close due to legal requirements.

Security researchers from Microsoft investigated the activity of the spyware developed by Israeli company QuaDream. According to the report, the software from the Israeli firm was used against members of the press, dissidents, and human rights activists in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

In their report, experts even called QuaDream cyber mercenaries. According to security researchers, the Israeli company sold KingsPawn spyware to anyone who wanted it, including the governments and law enforcement agencies of many nations. Israeli media revealed that QuaDream was selling a hacking platform called “REIGN”, which included a collection of malware and exploits primarily targeting mobile devices.

Microsoft’s report led to the firm’s closure

The investigation found that QuaDream was selling REIGN through a front company in Cyprus. In this way, the company was trying to circumvent the restrictions imposed by Israeli law.

Shortly after the investigation was published, QuaDream closed down and laid off all its employees. Apparently, the public outcry caused by the publication of the report forced the company to shut down.

Previously, QuaDream had been operating clandestinely, carefully avoiding the attention of the masses and not using any advertising. The firm didn’t even have its own logo, let alone pages on social networks. The company is a direct competitor of another famous Israeli spyware supplier NSO. The latter is a well-known Israeli spyware supplier, and one of its most famous products is the Pegasus spyware. Pegasus is one of the few that can bypass Apple’s protection. This software is capable of locating the victim, hacking into anonymous messengers, and turning on the microphone and camera without the user’s knowledge. QuaDream software had the same functionality. QuaDream itself was founded in 2016 by former army and military officials.