All about the secret Israeli cyber attack firm Candiru


We all know that Israel is a hub to a lot of IT technology and cybersecurity companies and startups. But can you believe that the region is also home to more than 120 companies which are into nefarious cyber activities?

Well, these findings were revealed by a Tel Aviv based newspaper ‘The Marker’ which was founded in 1999 by journalist turned entrepreneur Guy Rolnik. The news resource operates news daily in Hebrew language and is known to report some sensational news with the cooperation from the International New York Times.

A reliable source from ‘The Marker’ reports that a firm named Candiru offers cyber attacks-as-a-service where people can sell and hire offensive cyber tools for hacking computer networks.

Named after an Amazon fish which has the tendency to get inside the human urethra when a person swims in water bodies, Candiru is known to sell hacking technology for those who want to spy on phones and computers.

Reports are in that they are over 32 such companies operating in the region which make the offensive cyber activity as a big business in Israel. And trade analysts say that it leads to the generation of $2 billion sales a year from this sole business segment alone.

Cyber Intelligence firm NSO and several other companies from Saudi Arabia and Mexico happen to be the regular customers of the said company as they are found to be using the service tools to spy and crack down their adversaries.

Sources reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders say that Candiru’s sales policy is typical as it doesn’t sell its services to some nations such as Africa, Australia, and the United States. It only has customers from Western Europe and Asia and is adamant on its decision to sell equipment to those based in Israel.

However, TheMarker Claims that NSO is also a customer of Candiru as it is often seen contacting the surreptitious firm for some espionage-related projects. However, the spokesperson of the government based intelligence firm refuses to go on record on the issue.

Like Candiru, FinFisher is also a cyber firm which sells attack tools on the dark web. Both the companies do not have any directories on the web and their 120+ employees do not have a social network presence as they are recruited only when they sign a strict confidentiality agreement.

NOTE 1- Precisely speaking, NSO Group is a government-funded cybersecurity firm based in Herzliya, Israel. The company’s objective is to provide authorized governments cyber tools to help them combat terror and online crime. Pegasus software, a spying software is said to be a brainchild of this firm.

NOTE 2- All the workforce required to carry out the company operations are being recruited from Israel Defense Forces 8200 Intelligence Unit and are reportedly getting a pay of 80,000 shekels or $21,000 as a fixed salary.

NOTE 3-Probably its high time for FBI to make a note of such companies and start keeping a tab on their activities and services being offered to Asian countries.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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