back to article US adds Euro spyware makers to export naughty list

The US government on Tuesday added commercial spyware makers Intellexa and Cytrox to its Entity List, saying the duo are a possible threat to national security. According to the Feds, Greece's Intellexa SA, Ireland's Intellexa Limited, North Macedonia's Cytrox AD, and Hungary's Cytrox Holdings are allied companies that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's fault is it?

    Pegasus, Predator, Alien et. al. use weaknesses in supposedly secure systems, advertised as being impenetrable

    Why is no-one looking at the device marketers?

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: Who's fault is it?

      Claims of a device or system being secure should be considered the same as a house or building being called secure. You can work to make things more secure, but ultimately it's impossible for anything to be 100% secure, for a device to be hack-proof or for a house to be burglar-proof. And if you insist on making things even more secure, they eventually become unusable due to the restrictions you need to place on them.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Who's fault is it?

      Point to a single ad claiming something is "impenetrable"

      1. Khaptain Silver badge
      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Who's fault is it?

        I seem to recall "Oracle Unbreakable Linux"

    3. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: Who's fault is it?

      They do. They look at them. They find holes. They're paid for their silence.

    4. t245t
      Big Brother

      Why is no-one looking at the device marketers?

      > Why is no-one looking at the device marketers?

      Shoosh ;)

    5. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Who's fault is it?

      Because device marketers don't advertise their devices as being completely impossible to hack. They advertise them as being pretty secure. They're not idiots; you advertise anything as unhackable and you open yourself to lawsuits as soon as someone finds a vulnerability, and nothing can be perfectly secure. You couldn't point to any advert that actually claims perfect security, and you are already aware of that fact.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't book a foreign holiday.

    If you work for one of these companies I'd advise you to take care where you travel. Certainly not the USA.

  3. Stork Silver badge

    Export promotion

    Don’t buy spyware from those nasty entities. We have a list of much nicer vendors here.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Export promotion

      Well hopefully there will be a tit-for-tat any Europe bans all US spyware .....but I doubt it

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Export promotion

        Starting with Palantir.

  4. t245t
    Big Brother

    Infect and monitor other people's electronic devices

    The US government on Tuesday added commercial spyware makers Intellexa and Cytrox to its Entity List, saying the duo are a possible threat to national security.

    translation: NSA haven't yet backdoored these systems

    Two Egyptians .. were hacked with Predator spyware .. the spyware was able to infect the then-latest version (14.6) of Apple’s iOS operating system using single-click links sent via WhatsApp.”

  5. rafff

    "US adds Euro spyware makers to export naughty list"

    ... until the US can buy them out, at which point they will become the good guys.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you can't beat them

    Ban them.

    It's the United States way.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: If you can't beat them

      If you can't beat them

      Ban Buy them.

      It's the United States way.

      There. FTFY.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: If you can't beat them

        If you can't beat them

        Ban them until their stock drops to a cent, then buy them.

        It's the United States way.

        There. FTFY.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    White Hats Telling Us About Black Hats.....Don't Make Me Laugh!!!!

    Quote: "...the duo are a possible threat to national security...."

    What no mention that the "duo" called NSA and GCHQ are "a threat to personal security"?

    And then there are the three other also-rans in the so called "Five Eyes"!!

    Don't you just love the misdirection? "We are the good guys.....looking after the security of our citizens.......It's all those others......"

    See Edward Snowden, 2013 for a different view of "good guys"!!!

  8. The Basis of everything is...
    Pirate

    No matter what, you lose

    And yet nothing said about what Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft can do in terms of tracking you, your content, device usage and 3 of those have rights to directly muck with your stuff too. And before anyone says linux is different, when's the last time you did a full analysis of all the packages that apt/mintupdate deployed for you? And that's before thinking what's going on with CPU microcode and firmware updates.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ireland's Intellexa

    That'll do the Irish vote wonders, President Biden, Sir!

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Who saw that coming?

    > commercial spyware makers Intellexa and Cytrox to its Entity List

    Although any commercial spyware worthy of the name would have alerted it's owners of this possibility some time ago.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ""This rule reaffirms the protection of human rights worldwide as a fundamental US. foreign policy interest,"

    Are these people morons? Because anyone who isn't, would realize the level of oxymoronism and hypocrisy in this statement and *not say it*.

    US is the largest global human rights abuser. At least when we count privacy as human right. China is a good second, but it doesn't have global access to everything, like US does. At least yet.

    1. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Literal insanity

      “US is the largest global human rights abuser.”

      The article is about a spyware provider located in *Hungary*. Do you think this is an accident? Hungary’s President is Viktor Orban, a literal fascist. Already for many years, he removed all Jews from positions of public employment, and has made it all but impossible for them to have bank accounts. LGBT people fear him sufficiently that I know several Hungarian refugees who are gay, here in the U.K, alongside maybe a couple dozen Jewish Hungarian refugees. Yes, refugees, for that is what they are.

      And next year, Orban takes up the presidency of the EU. That is what you are supporting. There are only two possible positions for you: aware and ashamed but “can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”; or a fascist yourself, who sees nothing wrong with Orban, and thoroughly approves of the global direction of the EU.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Literal insanity

        Is there a way to kick a country out of the EU?

        How is that the EU can have rules about what kind of charging port a phone must have, but no rules preventing one of its members from racial/ethnic discrimination and so forth? Given the history of Europe, I would have thought that would have been one of the first things written down when they decided what they they wanted the EU to be. Or did they just form it as an economic union, and the do-goodery came later?

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Literal insanity

          @DS999 "Is there a way to kick a country out of the EU?"

          No there is no mechanism to do that. The best they can do is Article 7 that would allow for suspension of voting rights at the Council level. There is a small problem Article 7 requires a unanimous vote from leaders. So Article 7 proceedings have been started against both Poland and Hungary and then just stopped.

          Hotel California: Until 2009 when Article 50 came into force, there was no mechanism to leave. Though if a country stopped paying I think it would have been pretty clear to the EEC/EU said country had left.

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: Literal insanity

            Hungary, together with the large majority of EU countries, are huge net recipients of EU largesse, outside the normal channels of EU spending oversight. There’s words, and then there’s actions.

            Here’s an action: Russia (Rosatom) is right now expanding its build of Hungary’s nuclear reactor which produces 50% of Hungarys electricity. And France, specifically Macron in person, has been in direct talks with Putin to ensure that French companies are in on the action. Not a conspiracy theory, nor anti-French rhetoric, this is in Le Monde.

            https://www.lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2023/04/28/in-hungary-paris-is-willing-to-help-build-russian-led-nuclear-reactor_6024637_4.html

            Everybody knows. This is not a secret. The so-called “support for Ukraine” is entirely fake. All that “geo-political independence of aggressive foreign powers” is pure horseshit, apart from the hate for USA influence, which is real. Everybody knows.

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    If you gonna use spyware, buy American, right? I am sure it willbe totally fine!

  13. pomegranate

    Conflict of interest..

    ..statement: American.

    The comments here are consistent with all of us sharing a respect for human rights. Plus or minus strong privacy.

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