technology

Toka, this formidable company that hacks the planet’s video surveillance cameras


NSO Group, Sabra Intelligence Solution, Anyvision… Israel is full of companies specializing in surveillance and intelligence. At the end of December, it is the Toka firm that is making headlines in several media, including Ha’aretz Where Numerama in France. And for good reason: the firm offers digital tools with many technological prowess, including that of hacking CCTV cameras remotely.

Possibilities beyond science fiction

Founded in 2018 by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and ex-national cybersecurity chief Yaron Rosen, the company now offers its services to many governments around the world. The company markets solutions capable of identifying security cameras or webcams in a given perimeter, hacking into them and finally accessing the live video stream.

According to technical documents consulted by Ha’aretz, the tools could also modify past videotapes and replace them. A technology worthy of the greatest fiction films. In addition, the company also has the ability to exploit the geolocation of certain cars.

Dystopian technologies strongly criticized by civil society observers.

These are abilities that were previously unimaginable. Its mere existence raises serious questions. One can imagine that videos are manipulated to incriminate innocent citizens or protect culprits close to the system, or that they are simply edited for ideological or political purposes if they fall into the wrong hands.“, denounces in particular Alon Sapir, lawyer specializing in human rights, quoted by our colleagues.

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Countries close to the United States

On his site internet, Toka says working with “organizations responsible for maintaining order, defense and internal security“of the United States and allied nations”the closest.” “We regularly review this list of selected countries, using external assessments on a range of issues, including civil liberties, rule of law and corruption“, assures the company.

The startup is well established in Europe and has customers in several countries, including France, according to a map presented on its site. The list of business partners of the company is, of course, not disclosed.

The company claims to have the ability to provide answers for “forensic investigations, covert operations, public emergencies” or “targeted intelligence.” The proliferation of video surveillance cameras thus offers a wide range of possibilities to the company’s customers.

Contacted by Ha’aretza spokesperson defines the vocation of the company’s services: “Toka was founded to give military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies the tools they urgently need and deserve to legally, quickly and easily access the information they need to keep people safe. , places and communities.”

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