Quadream, a provider of cyberattack systems similar to NSO‘s products which enable security services to break into mobile phones and PCs, is in advanced talks with Morocco, Israeli Globes reports.
Cooperation between cyberattack companies and foreign countries is subject to Israeli defense export agreements and restricted in complying with all customer requirements.
But Morocco might use Quadream’s surveillance systems because Quadream’s mobile phone hacking products do not require an Israeli Defense Ministry export license, as its parent company is based in Limassol, Cyprus. Quadream has already sold its products to Saudi Arabia and Ghana.
This structure allows Quadream to benefit all worlds. They are operating a Research and Development center from Raman Gan, with the most talented workforce. They have no obligation to the defense authorization and are under the convenience of acting in secrecy. All of those perks were denied to NSO or any of the 15 other cyberattack companies operating in Israel.
Quadream tools, such as NSO’s Pegasus, enable authorities to install spyware on a target’s phone by sending a link or photo to the target’s phone, which is triggered when the suspect presses on it. As for now, Morocco may deploy Quadream’s surveillance technologies.
Although Morocco has never confirmed deploying NSO’s spyware, investigations into its suspected use against critical journalists have been published throughout the years.
According to an international investigative report released last month, NSO sold its Pegasus spyware to governments worldwide, which used it to spy on criminals and terrorists and journalists, human rights activists, and political leaders.
The story made by a team of 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in ten countries, led by Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, sparked a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Morocco and between Morocco and France.
Following the French newspaper Le Monde’s accusations that Morocco’s security services were tracking President Emmanuel Macron using Pegasus, he was forced to change his mobile phone number and electronic signature. Israel’s Ministry of Defense concluded no evidence of a breach of Macron’s and other ministers’ phones.
Morocco has started a defamation suit in France and Germany against Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, the organizations that made the claims. The Paris court hearing is scheduled to begin in October.
Quadream operates undercover. They have no website or LinkedIn profile, and even Quadream’s workers conceal their employment by claiming that they work for a cybersecurity company.
According to the Intelligence Online website, Quadream and its ‘offshore’ subsidiary InReach in Limassol, maneged by Roy Gelsenberg, is owned by Christos Shiakallis and Nenad Grozdanic. The management in Israel includes Guy Geva, Ilan Dabelstein, and Nimrod Reznik.
Under an agreement the two entities signed in 2017, InReach agreed to pay Quadream 92 percent of their technological export earnings.
However, InReach ceased payments to Quadream in 2019. Intelligence Online stated that one of InReach’s senior executives recently uncovered that it opened a Swiss bank account and transferred funds from the joint venture to it.
Quadream and InReach are embroiled in a legal battle that has been pending in Limassol since 2020.