Citizen Lab: Uncovering clients of cyber espionage firm Circles

Circles, an affiliate to Israeli surveillance tech company NSO Group, is a surveillance firm that reportedly exploits weaknesses in the global mobile phone system to snoop on calls, texts, and the location of phones. Using internet scanning, The Citizen Lab reported a unique signature associated with the hostnames of Check Point firewalls used in Circles deployments and identified alleged Circles deployments in at least 25 countries including three Middle East and North African (MENA) Countries: Israel, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Some of the reported incidents were reportedly linked to some local entities who are clients of Circles, namely the Morrocan Ministry of Interior, Dubai’s Supreme Council on National Security, and the UAE Royal Group.