Threat intelligence, Cybercrime

Former U.S. intelligence officials indicted for activist phone hacking

NBC News reports that former U.S. intelligence officials Ryan Adams, Marc Baier, and Daniel Gericke, as well as cybersecurity firm DarkMatter contracted by the United Arab Emirates, have been sued by Saudi Arabian political activist Loujain al-Hathloul for helping facilitate a phone hack that enabled government spying. The lawsuit, filed by nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of al-Hathloul before a U.S. federal court, alleges that Adams, Baier, and Gericke had led a DarkMatter project to infiltrate her iPhone as part of surveillance efforts aimed at UAE and Saudi Arabian dissidents, which eventually resulted in her arrest, imprisonment and torture. "Companies that peddle their surveillance software and services to oppressive governments must be held accountable for the resulting human rights abuses," said David Greene, civil liberties director at the EFF. In September, the former intelligence officials had already admitted giving the UAE sophisticated hacking technology, while agreeing to provide nearly $1.7 million in payment to settle their charges.
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