Firefox Fears UAE Government’s Cybersecurity Company ‘DarkMatter’ May Be Tied To a Cyber Espionage Program

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Patently Apple: Firefox browser-maker Mozilla is considering whether to block cybersecurity company DarkMatter from serving as one of its internet security gatekeepers after a Reuters report linked the United Arab Emirates-based firm to a cyber espionage program. Reuters reported in January that DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, codenamed Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence agency. The unit was largely comprised of former U.S. intelligence officials who conducted offensive cyber operations for the UAE government. Former Raven operatives told Reuters that many DarkMatter executives were unaware of the secretive program, which operated from a converted Abu Dhabi mansion away from DarkMatter’s headquarters.

Those operations included hacking into the internet accounts of human rights activists, journalists and officials from rival governments, Reuters found. DarkMatter has denied conducting the operations and says it focuses on protecting computer networks. While Mozilla had been considering whether to grant DarkMatter the authority to certify websites as safe, two Mozilla executives said in an interview last week that Reuters’ report raised concerns about whether DarkMatter would abuse that authority. Mozilla said the company has not yet come to a decision on whether to deny the authority to DarkMatter, but expects to decide within weeks.

Further reading available via Reuters