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Treasury Department Sanctions Entities Behind Predator Spyware

National security risk

Treasury Department Sanctions Entities Behind Predator Spyware

The Department of the Treasury has sanctioned entities connected to the Predator spyware.

Brian Nelson, the department’s sanctions lead, said the penalties are meant to discourage the use of commercial surveillance tools that could pose national security risks, CyberScoop reported.

Researchers previously found that malicious actors used Predator to target dissidents, journalists and officials. The Treasury Department noted that the spyware has impacted American individuals.

An anonymous Biden administration official said the sanctions are the first the department has ever imposed against commercial spyware entities. The official described the move as an escalation of White House efforts to combat the misuse of such technology.

Sanctions fell upon two executives and five companies in the Intellexa Consortium, the business vehicle behind Predator. Tal Jonathan Dilian, a retired Israeli military founder who founded the group, is one of the individuals who received penalties.

The White House previously added the Israel-based NSO Group and other foreign entities to a cyber blacklist.

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Category: Cybersecurity