Israeli firm QuaDream Developed & Sold Remote iPhone Exploit

Israeli firm QuaDream Developed & Sold Remote iPhone Exploit

A new report says that an NSO Group rival, QuaDream, had also exploited an iPhone flaw that allowed its customers to remotely hack smartphones.

According to Reuters, five unnamed sources have confirmed the existence of Israeli spyware company QuaDream. The sources say that QuaDream offered the ability to compromise iPhones similar to Pegasus, around the same timeframe that the NSO Group did.

In a written statement to Reuters, an NSO Group spokesperson said that the company “did not cooperate” with QuaDream. However, the spokesperson noted that “the cyber intelligence industry continues to grow rapidly globally.”

The NSO Group has been under increasing pressure to shut down its Pegasus hacking tool. The tool is popular among foreign governments (and the FBI in the U.S.). QuaDream, founded in 2016, hasn’t faced the same pressure.

QuaDream’s main hacking software was an app called “Reign.” The company in 2019 advertised the ability to hack 50 smartphones per year for a fee of $2.2 million, plus a maintenance fee. “real time call recordings,” plus both camera and microphone activation were available for an additional fee.

QuaDream and NSO Group both used the same “ForcedEntry” iPhone vulnerability, although they were independently developed. When Apple patched the flaw in iOS 14.8 to block NSO Groups exploit, it also blocked QuaDream’s similar exploit.