Due to concerns for the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, Intellexa and Cytrox, two European spyware businesses, have been blacklisted. The four new additions to the Commerce Department’s Entity List are Cytrox Holdings Zrt in Hungary, Intellexa S.A. in Greece, Intellexa Limited in Ireland, and Cytrox AD in North Macedonia.
Cyber Espionage Crackdown: US Bars European Spyware Vendors, Protects Privacy & Rights
Security and privacy were at danger because these businesses were involved in the trafficking of cyber exploits that gave third parties international access to high-risk users’ gadgets. According to the U.S. State Department, these surveillance techniques are used all over the world to monitor journalists and activists, intimidate political opponents, stifle dissent, prohibit freedom of expression, and crush political opponents. These actions result in repression and abuses of human rights.
Google’s Threat Analysis Group connected Cytrox to zero-day flaws that were exploited to spread Predator malware on Android devices, and Intellexa was revealed to be the company behind Predator Android spyware. Politicians, journalists, and Meta executives were the targets of both spyware organizations.
The U.S. government’s current attempts to address the threats connected with commercial spyware enterprises continue with the placement of these spyware companies on the Entity List. The Biden administration’s executive order forbidding the use of commercial spyware that poses a national security risk by the government is in line with this move.
Four further businesses from Singapore, Singapore, Russia, and Israel were sanctioned by the U.S. Commerce Department in November 2021 for their roles in selling hacking tools and malware. With these steps, the protection of human rights across the world is ensured, as is the avoidance of criminals abusing surveillance technologies.