China’s cyber giants join TRD for enhancing Egypt’s intelligence capabilities
Technical Research Department (TRD), the Egyptian intelligence unit that received much recognition from western intelligence services is all set to join hands with the Chinese surveillance industry.
TRD is already listed as a client of Italy-based Hacking Team, one of the top-notch hacking companies amongst Privacy International, Hacking Team, and Gamma International. If we go by the documents leaked in June 2015 the agency was willing to spend more than $1 million to obtain malware that would allow it to remotely access computers and smartphones. This in itself suggests that Egypt is eager to expand its cyber-surveillance capabilities for a long time.
Interestingly, Hacking Team’s Remote Control System which allowed agencies to remotely access and monitor devices in real-time is quite similar to FinFisher’s malware suite. As per the research done by Citizen Lab shows TDR was found to be a registered FinFisher client which is no surprise.
Given Egypt’s aspirations, TRD has been recently wooed by Chinese surveillance companies as well. The computer and communications firm Systel, owned by the Mashhour clan, which is working with a growing number of Chinese partners. Systel now a day’s turning to be new allies for china like a monitoring technology firm “Hikvision”.
It is been reported that Arabic agents for Chinese interception companies like Privis Technology, Hytera, and Knowlesys Software are trying to get in touch with the Egyptian intelligence services. Also, Egyptian agent Mohamed Soukar, who has been actively working in the drone business, is trusted by China’s military-industrial complex. In addition, TRD’s suppliers have also included Nokia Siemens Networks, now a part of Trovicor) and Advanced German Technology (AGT) which suggests Egypt, after associating with western companies is now all set to expand its cyber capabilities in the east with a major focus on China’s growing cyber-surveillance companies.