Israeli-linked cyber offensive firm Cytrox targeted an investigative journalist of CNN Greece

Cyber Warfare Asia
3 min readMay 11, 2022


As we all are aware of the fact that Israel is seen as one of the Globe’s leading Cyber strengths in both offensive and defensive cyber power, along with other nations like China and Russia. From last several years, Israel is in news for its notorious cyber espionage firm NSO group.

In the latest episode, Israel was in limelight for its spy software firm ‘Cytrox’ that has rarely been out of headlines over the past year. The first case of a European national being besieged with the ‘Predator spyware’ created by Israeli firm Cytrox.

According to the report by forensic analysis shared with Haaretz Group, Thanasis Koukakis, (Investigative journalist for CNN Greece) who also contributed to the Financial Times and CNBC and currently investigating on one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals, was targeted by Israeli spyware firm.

Israeli-linked cyber spyware firm Cytrox targeted investigative journalist of CNN Greece

Citizen lab found out that the ‘Predator spyware’ provided its operators with full admittance to the cell Phone, encrypted data, and even its camera and microphone from July to September 2021. The analysis also stated that a suspicious message was received by the journalist that included a link to an alleged tip. The link belongs to a forged website that installed a “certificate” on the phone and thus provided the spyware’s operators with access to hit device. This certificate exactly matches to the sample certificate of CytroxPredator Spyware.

In November 2021, U.S. Nation blacklisted the Israeli Cyberarm firms Candiru and NSO Group for targeting ‘National Security and Interests’. The cyber firms Candiru and NSO maliciously supplied their spyware tools to the government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers of the U.S. These tools have also enabled foreign administrations to conduct intercontinental domination.

From June 2018 to October 2021, Israeli notorious spyware firm NSO Group repeatedly hacked the iPhone of Ben Hubbard (New York Times journalist) with its Pegasus spyware tool via the KISMET and FORCEDENTRYzero-click iMessage exploits. According to the findings of University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, The cyber attack took place while Hubbard was reporting on Saudi Arabia, and Writing a book about Mohammed bin Salman (Saudi’s crown Prince)

In December 2020, NSO group hacked Dozens of Al- Jazeera journalists with their Pegasus spyware tool. The alleged hacking campaign targeted 36 members of staff, including TV anchors and executives. The NSO group used vulnerability in iPhone operating system software. According to the citizen lab researchers the two attackers who had spied on journalists were doing so on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia and UAE. The phones of journalists were compromised an exploit chain ‘Kismet’.

In the last, we can say that Israeli cyber offensive firms continued its notorious deeds, no matter how many reports will publish about their hacking campaigns, the firm still continues their cyber offensive operations across the globe.



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