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Israeli firm was used to hack Nigerian president

29th Jun 2018

 

Nadine Osman

 

Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower at the centre of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, told a House of Commons Committee on March 27 that an Israeli intelligence gathering firm was involved in a hacking scheme targeting the President of Nigeria.

Tel Aviv-based Black Cube denied the allegations and called them a “flagrant lie.”

Wylie, Cambridge Analytica former Research Director, testified before a House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee that, “The company utilized the services of an Israeli private intelligence firm, Black Cube”.

He said Black Cube was hired to “hack the now President [Muhammadu] Buhari to get access to his medical records and private emails.”

According to Cambridge Analytica it also contracted its subsidiary company, AggregateIQ, to use the data obtained by Black Cube to spread anti-Muslim videos on Facebook in an effort to damage Buhari’s presidential campaign.

Buhari had run for president three times previously but was elected president in 2015.

Wiley indicated that Cambridge Analytica sought to influence elections in other developing countries on a regular basis, with little to no concern for the local or international law.“They could care less as to whether or not their work is compliant because they like to win,” he said.

But election rigging was not particularly profitable, so, Wiley said, Cambridge Analytica made its real money by introducing top government officials to African businessmen in what he dubbed a “privatized colonising operation.”

Black Cube denied it had any links to Cambridge Analytica or any of its subsidiaries and has never worked in Nigeria. A spokesman for Black Cube told The Times of Israel it is “flattered that we are seemingly being connected with every international incident that occurs,” and vowed to investigate Wylie’s claims further.

Cambridge Analytica also denied any links to the Tel-Aviv based firm, saying in a statement that it “has never worked with or been in contact with Black Cube in any capacity.”

Caption. Tel-Aviv based Black Cube used to hack Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari (Photo: Chatham House/Creative Commons).

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