After Middle Eastern Exposure, Gamma Aims to Rebrand its Identity

Cyber Warfare Asia
2 min readApr 2, 2021

Gamma International’s FinFisher surveillance software is well-known in Germany for developing the so-called “Bundestrojaner” spying software that law enforcement authorities have been using to track the smartphones of crime suspects.

FinFisher has also made headlines in the past because its products were found to be used by authoritarian regimes against opponents in several Middle Eastern countries. Due to the unauthorised export of cyber tools, the German police also carried out raids linked to the spyware firm, at the end of 2020. As a result, Gamma International decided to reinvent itself and entered into a new segment against online disinformation.

Carlos Hugo Gandini, Managing Director, Finfisher, relaunched its new segment, AdSum in June 2020. The cyber consulting business, located on the outskirts of Munich, has since then been helping companies to forge partnerships to bid for police and intelligence cyber tenders. Today, Germany is leading in the dual-use export control legislation with the help of AdSum.

FinFisher is not the only spyware firm in Germany’s Bavaria. The landlocked state in the south-east of Germany is home to a number of cyber-offensive firms, including the public agency ZITiS that develops technology for the German intelligence community and operates as the purchasing authority of cyber tools.

Gamma’s German subsidiary has also been suspected of exporting its interception tools to countries illegally, including Turkey via a Malaysian branch of its subsidiary Raedarius M8. The accusations came at a time when the German government was already mulling stricter rules, while governing the cyber technology export.

Gamma Group came into prominence during the Arab Spring protests. It was discovered that the firm was selling spyware to dictators in the Middle East to track dissidents and conduct foreign espionage over the internet.

The group’s website reports that it has technical and sales offices in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its FinFisher spyware was used by UAE to target its Human Rights Activist — Ahmed Mansoor.

According to a report from WikiLeaks, Qatar’s State Security Bureau (SSD) has been a customer of Gamma Group. WikiLeaks estimated that the cost of the licenses sold to Qatar was around €683,700 (QR3.22 million). It claimed to have an actual list of 17 alleged customers, such as police departments or intelligence agencies from Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Mongolia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, Qatar, South Africa and Vietnam.

In view of the negative publicity about Gamma’s activities, the firm is now trying to rebrand its identity by entering into a new segment.

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