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You met Pegasus, on phones, now meet Toka, on any net connected device

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli Cyber hacker tools can hack everything. (AFP)

The abuse of the Pegasus software by autocratic regimes has been known for several years, though, through recent revelations, it appeared to gain much traction in the mainstream media, owing to the high number of civilians who have reportedly been under surveillance through its use.

The continuation of the long standing scandal surrounding the abuse of Pegasus has also brought considerable controversy and notoriety to the Israeli company that developed it, the NSO group.

While the NSO group has become infamous, other Israeli companies, with even deeper ties to Israel's intelligence apparatus have been selling software that not only provides the exact same services to governments, to intelligence agencies, but purports to go even farther than that.

Enter Toka

The myopic focus on Israel's Pegasus spyware and the threats it poses by the mainstream media means that other companies, like Toka, go uninvestigated, even when their product presents an even greater potential for abuse and illegal surveillance.

Pegasus is merely the tip of the Israeli cyber spying iceberg. Another piece of Israeli software, Toka, is far more dangerous, and outrageous.

Toka markets itself as a one stop hacking shop for governments that require extra capability to fight terrorists, and other threats to national security in the digital domain.

The company's software is designed to infiltrate any device connected to the internet, not just smart phones.

This includes devices such as the Amazon Echo, Google Nest connected home products, as well as Net connected refrigerators, thermostats and alarms.

Security exploits in these products discovered by Toka, the company said at the time, would not be disclosed to vendors, meaning those flaws would continue to remain vulnerable to any hacker, whether a client of Toka or not.

Toka is a product of the Israeli national security state; having been co founded by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and was also designed by members of the elite unit 8200, subordinate to the military intelligence directorate.

This suggests that it is a front for the Israeli government. Toka was launched in 2018 with the explicit purpose of selling a “tailored ecosystem of cyber capabilities, and software products for governmental law enforcement and security agencies".

Today the Toka software suite claims to offer its customers in law enforcement, government and intelligence, the ability to obtain targeted intelligence, and to conduct forensic investigations, as well as covert operations.

Toka's target clientele are the same as those of Pegasus, providing an easy opportunity for governments to gain access to even more surveillance capabilities than Pegasus offers, but without risking notoriety in the media; Toka has long avoided the limelight.

The company's activities are concerning in light of the fact that Toka has been directly partnered with Israel's ministry of defense and other Israeli intelligence and security agencies since its inception.

The company works closely with these government agencies according to the website of Israel's Minister of Defence. This collaboration with Toka is meant to enhance their products.

Toka's direct collaboration with Israel's government has also been made clear through its claim that it sells its products and offers its services only to trusted, governments, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies.

Toka has stated that Russia, China, and "other enemy countries" would never be customers of the company. In other words, only countries aligned with Israeli policy goals, particularly in occupied Palestine, are permitted to be customers and gain access to its trove of powerful hacking tools.

This is consistent with Israel's effort to leverage its high tech sector as a means of countering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions BDS movement, globally.

Toka, dangerous Israeli spyware firm we've never heard of

How can there be such a major spyware firm that does business at a governmental level without it having even been mentioned at a global media level?

… the media, the United States media, particularly right all Western media but United States media is the most heavily propagandize media, CNN, MSNBC, Fox they only cover what they're told to they're basically state stenographers for the security state agencies.

you have more MSNBC and CNN hosts that have worked under the CIA and for national intelligence so it's no surprise, given our strong relationship with Israel our very you know, symbiotic relationship with Israel, that this has been completely taken out.

We've talked about Pegasus and other NSOs but the reason, the reason  Toka is so private is because anything that comes out, whether it's a leak or anything that is promoted by mainstream media, like the Guardian, like every other mainstream media outlet, has to be carefully selected, so they're only going to tell you as much as they're allowed to.

Fiorella Isabel, Journalist, the CONVO Couch

According to a profile of the company, published by Forbes just shortly after it was launched, Toka advertised itself as a one stop hacking shop for governments that require extra capability to fight terrorism and other threats to national security in the digital domain. I want to focus the "threat to national security" issues. In all likelihood it is only sold to regimes in line with Israel's policy of occupation.

Fiorella Isabel, Journalist, the CONVO Couch

How dangerous is it that colonial/interventionist states are collaborating with Israel for espionage?

It is extremely dangerous because if you go back to 2012 companies in the tech surveillance sector of Israel were essentially conducting investigations, and these investigations were also previously conducted by groups like Mossad.

So in essence, these companies have been working for Israeli intelligence, but more have popped up since this time. And Cybereason is one of these companies, I can get into that later ... a little bit about how they have pretty much managed themselves into US national intelligence regarding January 6, but also they have a two pronged approach regarding Israel.

 Israel wants to use these tech companies to stop any sort of counter protest or any sort of appeal to Palestinian solidarity movements, the BDS movement, but they also want to conduct classified intelligence and defense operations through these, these companies, even though they operate publicly as private companies, and we know that the connection to the World Bank is essential.

It was found to be involved in Israeli interests and Haaretz  themselves, which is the go to news (source)  in Israel, showed us that Netanyahu set up an international committee to realize the potential of international development, to strengthen "the Israeli economy, improve Israel's political standing and strengthen its international role", but they also admitted, this was not philanthropic.

So, like I said, we've seen the partnership between the World Bank, and ... government, in Chile and Nigeria, two governments who particularly happened to be very pro Palestinian and pro BDS movement.

Chile had a Palestinian caucus, it has the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East, perhaps in the Americas, and so you see that this is no coincidence, the relationship that the intelligence of Israel and the United States is trying to insert itself [sic].

The Toka hacking suite is classified as a lawful intercept product, which is capable of targeting any device that is connected to the internet, including, but not limited to the Smartphone.

Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid but, for example, with an oven connected to the Internet or a car connected to the internet, you may well die because of a piece of spyware.

Toka can get into anything net connected

Toka can get into any device, that's the thing that nobody is talking about, that unlike the others that are specifically, a lot of, you know, just limited to telephones, Toka can get into anything.

Recently, there were accusations from high ranking military officials that in America the stingray devices were set up all over the White House. And of course we know the Trump administration and the Biden administration's relationship to Israel and we've seen how much power, right, that the US government gives to Israel, and the billions and billions of dollars per year.

We just saw Joe Biden give billions to Israel when people in the United States are absolutely in need of any aid, but of course we give this money to Israel in terms of propaganda in terms of military weapons, and then of course, aid them in terms of propaganda via APAC.

And so apart from these foreign governments Toka and other, you know, and other tech surveillance, like that can also be used on regular people. We know that the domestic violent extremist categorization now works on anyone with a political opinion and that's a huge part of, of where this intelligence is going.

Fiorella Isabel, Journalist, the CONVO Couch

The US spied on the US

The investors of Toka, Amdocs and Comverse Infosys, were both embroiled in scandal in the late 90s and early 2000s for their role in a massive Israeli Government espionage operation that targeted US federal agencies.

During that juncture in time the US spied on the US and it most probably still does spy on the US, how come this is not breaking news in the US media?

Yeah, I mean, again, I go to the fact that the United States media is extremely, extremely pro Israel, extremely, extremely pro West, they will not, they will not propagandize this, and even independent media won't touch this, I mean the vast majority of media focuses on electoral politics, they really don't cover the national security state, and in terms of covering this, you are cast  as a right winger, as being anti Semitic, for simply criticizing the very incestuous relationship between the United States and Israel.

And you know, we know that the NSA has expanded surveillance right because recently commentator Tucker Carlson who is on the right, accused the NSA of spying on him, and he was ridiculed and gas lighted even though we know from Snowden, and WikiLeaks that the NSA absolutely does spy on Americans, and they and they have used the DHS to continue doing that via social media accounts.

Fiorella Isabel, Journalist, the CONVO Couch

I mentioned the domestic violent extremists and how now they're categorizing anybody that is movement led, meaning if you're pro BDS, if you're pro Palestinian, if you're anti government, you are a domestic violent extremist and they will be looking at your social media. So this is a potentially very dangerous and authoritarian situation we are in and not just for, for obviously for the world and for US foreign policy wise and what these actors could do but also for Americans and journalists who want to expose these companies.

Fiorella Isabel, Journalist, the CONVO Couch

 


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