Home Brands DarkMatter certified websites blocked by Google
Brands - August 2, 2019

DarkMatter certified websites blocked by Google

Websites approved by security company, DarkMatter have been blacklisted by Google.

The decision came following report by Reuters which tied the United Arab Emirates-based firm to a state of hacking operation.

Google said last week on a public discussion board that its Chrome and Android browsers would mark as unsafe all websites that had been certified by the UAE security firm DarkMatter.

While Google did not provide a reason for the move, and did not respond to requests for comment, it cited the same decision taken by Firefox browser-maker Mozilla last month.

Mozilla said it would block DarkMatter certified websites because of “credible evidence” presented by Reuters and other media reports that the Abu Dhabi-based company had been involved in hacking operations. Mozilla said it was concerned that DarkMatter could use its status as an internet security gatekeeper to launch covert hacking efforts.

Reuters reported in January that DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, code named Project Raven, on behalf of a UAE 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.

The program’s operations included hacking into the internet accounts of human rights activists, journalists and officials from rival governments, Reuters found.

DarkMatter has denied being connected to offensive hacking operations, saying the reports of its involvement were based on “false, defamatory, and unsubstantiated statements.”

DarkMatter and its affiliated company DigitalTrust have appealed Mozilla’s decision, which they said was based on “discriminatory practices,” and an “undisclosed conflict of interest.”

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