Journalists can thank Ahmed Mansoor, a United Arab Emirates dissident, Toronto’s Citizen Lab and the security company Lookout, for alerting Apple to a security flaw in the iPhone 6. After receiving numerous texts of suspicious nature, Mr. Mansoor forwarded the messages to Citizen Lab, who confirmed that the texts contained spyware. The flaw allowed hackers to take full control of Mr. Mansoor’s device, to log activity and to track his physical location.
Referring to the vulnerabilities as Trident, Lookout wrote in an August 25, 2016 blog post that the companies “uncovered an active threat using three critical iOS zero-day vulnerabilities that, when exploited, form an attack chain that subverts even Apple’s strong security environment.”
Citizen’s Lab believes Trident was developed by an Israeli-based company, NSO Group, which was acquired by U.S. based Francisco Partners Management in 2010.
NSO Group describes itself as a “unique company” responsible for “unique developments” in security on mobile and PC platforms.
Francisco Partners Management LLC, a private equity firm, announced on June 20, 2016 that the firm had agreed to purchase Dell’s software unit. Bloomberg reported Francisco was to purchase Dell’s software assets for $2 billion dollars, although terms of the deal were not announced by either company.
Dipanjan Deb, the CEO and founding partner of Francisco Partners, also has investments in K2, a business application platform; Plex, a provider of cloud technology for manufacturers; and, Ichor Systems, which develops microelectronic semiconductor chips.