March 10, 2024

OFAC targets commercial surveillance tools

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has sanctioned seven persons associated with the Intellexa Consortium, a group of spyware vendors and developers.  The two individuals and five entities were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as amended by EO 13757, for their roles in cyber-enabled activities originating from outside the United States and aimed at threatening U.S. national security, foreign policy or the economic health and stability of the United States.

According to OFAC, members of the Intellexa Consortium have promoted the sale of commercial spyware and surveillance tools around the world under the brand name Predator; this suite of tools has been used to covertly surveil government officials, journalists and policy experts in the United States and elsewhere.

Today’s designees include Intellexa S.A. and Intellexa Limited, based in Greece and Ireland, respectively; Thalestris Limited, a financial holding company also based in Ireland; Cytrox Holdings ZRT, a Hungary-based entity, and; Cytrox AD, based in North Macedonia.  Also designated are the main architect of the Intellexa Consortium, Tal Jonathan Dilian, and a key manager of the consortium named Sara Aleksandra Fayssal Hamou.

As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Press release