Threat Management

State-purchased spyware prevalent

The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre has reported that over 80 countries have acquired commercial spyware during the last 10 years, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Spyware has been leveraged by some of the countries for law enforcement operations but has been used by others to attack foreign government officials, political dissidents, human rights activists, and journalists, said the NCSC in a report issued at the CyberUK 2023 conference. "Our new assessment highlights that the threat will not only become greater but also less predictable as more hackers for hire are tasked with going after a wider range of targets, and off-the-shelf products and exploits lower the barrier to entry for all," said NCSC Director of Resilience and Future Tech Jonathon Ellison. The findings come after the U.K., along with the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, France, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand, issued a joint statement calling for controls to regulate commercial spyware use.

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