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The screen of a phone coming off with someone behind it.

A new type of mercenary spyware came on the radar called Predator. It’ll infect a mobile phone, and then suck up all the data from it. Contacts, text messages, location, and more. This malware is being sold to intelligence agencies around the world.

In this episode we hear from Crofton Black at Lighthouse Reports who spent 6 months with a team of journalists researching this story which was published here: https://www.lighthousereports.com/investigation/flight-of-the-predator/.

We also hear from Bill Marczak and John Scott-Railton from Citizen Lab.

If you want to hear about other mercenary spyware, check out episodes 99 and 100, about NSO group and Pegasus. To hear another episode about Greece check out episode 64 called Athens Shadow Games.

Support for this show comes from Axonius. The Axonius solution correlates asset data from your existing IT and security solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory of all devices, users, cloud instances, and SaaS apps, so you can easily identify coverage gaps and automate response actions. Axonius gives IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity by mitigating threats, navigating risk, decreasing incidents, and informing business-level strategy — all while eliminating manual, repetitive tasks. Visit axonius.com/darknet to learn more and try it free.

Support for this show comes from Varonis. Do you wonder what your company’s ransomware blast radius is? Varonis does a free cyber resilience assessment that tells you how many important files a compromised user could steal, whether anything would beep if they did, and a whole lot more.
They actually do all the work – show you where your data is too open, if anyone is using it, and what you can lock down before attackers get inside. They also can detect behavior that looks like ransomware and stop it automatically.
To learn more visit www.varonis.com/darknet.

Support for this show comes from Akamai Connected Cloud (formerly Linode). Akamai Connected Cloud supplies you with virtual servers. Visit linode.com/darknet and get a special offer.

View all active sponsors.



Darknet Diaries is created by Jack Rhysider.

Assembled by Tristan Ledger.

Episode artwork by odibagas.

Mixing by Proximity Sound.

Theme music created by Breakmaster Cylinder. Theme song available for listen and download at bandcamp. Or listen to it on Spotify.


Recording equipment used this episode was the Shure SM7B, Zoom Podtrak P4, Sony MDR7506, in the Hindenburg editor.

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JACK: You ever think about the proliferation of weapons? Well, shoot, let’s get into it. I want you to think about this guy, Sam Cummings. Here; I found an old vintage documentary made by CNN.

HOST: This is Sam Cummings, and this fifty-seven-year-old is the biggest private military weapons dealer in the world.

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