Mozilla Firefox Considers Blocking Cyber security Company Darkmatter; Reports Arise of Its Link to a Cyber Espionage Program

Mozilla Firefox Considers Blocking Cyber security Company Darkmatter; Reports Arise of Its Link to a Cyber Espionage Program

Firefox
‘browser-maker’ Mozilla is under talks about considering whether to block the
cyber security organization DarkMatter from serving in as one of its internet
security gatekeeper after a Reuters report connected the UAE-based firm to a
cyber-espionage program.
The
international news organization announced in January that the cyber-security
company gave the staff the secret to a hacking operation with the codename
Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence agency. The unit there
included previous U.S. intelligence officials who led hostile cyber operations
for the UAE government.
The
shrouded program, which operated from a converted Abu Dhabi house far from
DarkMatter’s headquarters, included hacking into the internet accounts of human
rights activists, journalists and officials from rival governments.
Mozilla
said the company is under talks to arrive at a decision on whether to deny the
authority possessed by DarkMatter, however expects to decide within weeks.
While two Mozilla officials said in a meeting a week ago that Reuters’ report
raised their worries about whether DarkMatter would abuse their position to
certify sites as safe or not.

Selena
Deckelmann, a senior director of engineering for Mozilla, said 
“We don’t currently have technical evidence of misuse
(by DarkMatter) but the reporting is strong evidence that misuse is likely to
occur in the future if it hasn’t already.”

Likewise informing
that Mozilla was thinking about stripping a few or the majority of the 400
certifications that DarkMatter has granted to sites under a limited authority
since 2017.

In any case DarkMatter CEO Karim Sabbagh denied the Reuters
report connecting his company in any way to Project Raven.”We have never, nor will we ever, operate or manage
non-defensive cyber activities against any nationality,” he said in a letter
to Mozilla on February 25th, posted online by the cyber security
company.

While in the past Mozilla has depended heavily on technical
issues when choosing whether to trust a company with certification authority or
not, the Reuters investigation has driven it to re-evaluate its arrangement for
affirming candidates.

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