After Banning NSO, US Using Other ‘Israeli’ Spyware to Hack Cellphones
Story Code : 1029376
The Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] has deployed a tool called Graphite, made by the ‘Israeli’ firm Paragon, five people familiar with the agency’s operations told the NYT.
Paragon has largely avoided the limelight and doesn't even have a website. Last year, Forbes revealed that the firm was cofounded and directed by Ehud Schneorson, the former commander of the Zionist military Intelligence Directorate's Unit 8200, and former prime minister Ehud Barak.
The firm claims to give customers the power to remotely break into encrypted messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger and Gmail, according to Forbes.
At the time, a senior executive at Paragon told Forbes that the company did not yet have customers and would only sell to countries that abide by international norms and respect fundamental rights and freedoms.
The company is also backed by the American venture capital business Battery Ventures.
The DEA claimed in comments to the Times that "the men and women of the DEA are using every lawful investigative tool available to pursue the foreign-based cartels and individuals operating around the world responsible for the drug-poisoning deaths of 107,622 Americans last year."
The Times additionally found that the CIA had purchased NSO's Pegasus for the government of Djibouti under the Trump administration and that the FBI had attempted to deploy Pegasus as well in 2020 and 2021, but eventually abandoned the idea.