Israeli Cyber offensive firms are funded by Middle Eastern Nations
In the wake of the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, Commercial prospects from Israeli Intelligence and security organizations are beginning to invest in Mubadala (UAE-based, sovereign wealth fund Conglomerate). The Fund, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s close advisor Khalidoon al-Mubarak, is being sought out as an investor and partner in Local Joint ventures in the cyber domain.
The stabilization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE has provoked an invasion of Israeli cyber firms and corporations from the civil sectors. Companies like TrustDefence, imVision, TrapXSecurity, Q6 cyber, Perimeter81, and Cybecs have tried finding new clients in the UAE. Others, including ITS and WireXSytems, have explored new investors there. Israeli venture capital firms have also been chasing Emirati funds.
In 2019, a state-owned Investment Corporate of Abu Dhabi had been invested in Cyber Spyware Company of Israel’ NSO Group’. Since then, NSO’s Pegasus Spyware has been traced to the phones of journalists, Human Right Activists, and the ex-wife of Dubai’s ruler.
Mubadala Capital, a unit of a $243 bn fund chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince), is a top-10 investor in the private equity fund that bought ‘NSO Group’ the maker of Pegasus Spyware software.
In 2017 before the Israel and UAE signed a peace accord, Mubadala’s €50mn committed to the agreement of the Novalpina capital private equity fund, which means that the administration of Emirati Nation utilized their money to buy significant Israeli Cyber weapon makers like NSO Group.
Similar to NSO Group, other Israeli cyber offensive firms are funded by other Middle Eastern nations, out of which one is Candiru.
Candiru is an Israeli-based cyber intrusion firm known for selling spyware exclusively to governments, just like NSO Group. Their spyware can potentially infect iPhones, Androids, Macs, PCs, and cloud accounts.
The cyber firm received a boost from Qatar’s investors, as several investment funds tied to Qatar Investment Authority took a stake in the spyware firm Candiru.
Over the years, numerous independent investors have funded Candiru’s hacking operations. As Candiru was seen of allotment of shares with the three largest shareholders of Israeli Corporation Authorities named Universal Motors Israel Ltd, ESOP Management and Trust services, and Optus Industry Ltd(a Malta-based private equity firm shareholder Leonard Joseph O’Brien; directors are O’Brien and Michael Ellul).
Leonardo O’Brien has served as the head of investment and a board member of the Gulf Investment Fund and the sovereign Qatar Investment Authority (which has a 12% stake in the Gulf Investment Fund) through a subsidiary of Qatar Holding.
All the above-mentioned points stated that NSO is not alone that receives funds from different nations in fact; all cyber offensive firms in Israel are funded by Middle Eastern Nations.