A report from Israeli news outlet Haaretz has ever so slightly lifted the veil on what may be Israel’s second largest commercial provider of offensive cyber tools and spyware, a clandestine company called Candiru.
The candiru is South American parasitic catfish that, according to legend, invades swimmers’ urethras. Much like the fish after which it is named, Candiru reportedly excels at getting all up in your business.
According to Haaretz and its daily newspaper title TheMarker, Candiru is believed to employ around 120 people, recruiting heavily from the Israel Defense Forces 8200 intelligence unit, and earns roughly $30 million in annual sales.
Reportedly, Candiru’s specialty is software that allows offensive users to break into their targets’ computers and servers, although sources say it likely sells tools designed for mobile devices as well. Another point of differentiation is that the company packages its assorted tools into a comprehensive system, replete with advanced user interfaces and customer service offerings.
Haaretz reports that Candiru was created by Isaac Zack,who also founded NSO Group, Israel’s top commercial provider of cyber offensive tools. But while NSO has stirred up controversy for allegedly selling to governments that use cyber tools to spy on dissidents and activists, Candiru reportedly is more selective about its client base, largely doing business with Western European nations.