Spyware providers are flocking to international arms fairs to sell to NATO foes

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Nov 8, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

European and Middle Eastern spyware and surveillance firms are marketing intrusion software to adversaries of the U.S., its intelligence allies and NATO, Atlantic Council research published Monday reveals.

Looking at more than 200 companies that attended international arms fairs in the past two decades, researchers found that 85% of companies likely selling interception or intrusion technologies marketed these capabilities to governments outside their home country — even when no intelligence relationship existed. Five companies, including Israel-based Cellebrite and Sweden-based Micro Systemation AB, marketed those capabilities to U.S. and NATO adversaries.

Neither company immediately responded to requests for comment.

The findings coincide with an explosion of surveillance vendors attending international arms trade shows, including the heavily attended Milipol France and the U.K. -based Security and Policing Home Office. 

The report underscores growing concerns about the threat that spyware companies pose to the United States and its allies. U.S. and European leaders have begun to follow human rights organizations in vocalizing opposition to firms like the NSO Group, whose spyware technology has been used by authoritarian regimes to spy on dissidents and journalists. 

“These vendors are increasingly looking to foreign governments to hawk

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