Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Tracking & Law Enforcement

Cyprus Arrests Three in ‘Israeli Spy Van’ Probe

Cyprus on Thursday arrested three people in connection with an alleged Israeli-owned “spy van” equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology capable of hacking communications, police said.

Cyprus on Thursday arrested three people in connection with an alleged Israeli-owned “spy van” equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology capable of hacking communications, police said.

The Cypriot suspects, two men and a woman, face 13 charges related to violation of privacy laws, processing private data, falsely obtaining documents and breaking the radio communication law.

Police said the trio – who work for the company that owns the van — are expected to appear before a court in the southern coastal city of Larnaca on Friday for a detention order.

The vehicle is owned by Cyprus-registered company WiSpear, whose Israeli CEO Tal Dillian is said to be a former Israeli intelligence officer.

Last month an independent investigator was appointed to assist the police probe into the van, which appeared in a Forbes video that went viral on the Mediterranean island.

Cypriot Attorney General Costas Clerides said at the time that a criminal law expert was needed due to the “seriousness of the case and the different legal aspects” that are cropping up.

Forbes said multi-million-dollar equipment in the van can monitor electronic devices within a 500-metre (yard) radius, hack any phone and listen in on conversations regardless of the level of encryption.

The van was seized on November 17 in Larnaca and is still in the possession of the police.

WiSpear denies any wrongdoing and says the van was not used to spy on anybody in Cyprus.

In a statement earlier this month, Dillian lashed out at “amateurish” police for prolonging a “witch-hunt” against him.

Dillian said he was “embedded into a vicious circle of accusations” solely based on an interview given to Forbes which ran a video story about the van and the technology it used.

“The interview has been altered and used to fuel rumours and innuendos about illegal activities, coming from unnamed sources and serving unclear motives,” he said.

He refuted there had been any illegal activity and was adamant “the police are aware of this fact which is supported by their own investigation.”

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Cybercrime

No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.

Cybercrime

The owner of China-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato was arrested in Miami along with five associates in Europe

Cybercrime

Russian Vladislav Klyushin made tens of millions of dollars by hacking into U.S. computer networks to steal insider information.

Cybercrime

A hacker who reportedly posed as the CEO of a financial institution claims to have obtained access to the more than 80,000-member database of...

Application Security

Virtualization technology giant Citrix on Tuesday scrambled out an emergency patch to cover a zero-day flaw in its networking product line and warned that...