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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Israeli Security Firm Sold Apps to Iran

The news says that Israeli security outfit named Allot has problems after being caught selling software to Iran. Local media confirmed that Allot Communications shares fell to the lowest level in December after Bloomberg had reported that the firm’s software was sold to Iran.

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Media reports say that Allot’s software for monitoring online traffic was flogged to Iran through some distributor in Denmark. Meanwhile, Israel forbids any trade with Iran, as the latter fails to recognize the State and its defence force doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of military technology it created. Now a member of the country’s parliament Nachman Shai calls for an investigation. In response, the Ministry of Defence confirmed it is currently examining the report.

In the meantime, Allot Chief Executive Officer Rami Hadar explained that the agreement with the distributor from Denmark, RanTek A/S, contained the provision that the firm could only market its products in that country. They claim that no Allot employees were aware that the distributor was selling their software outside of Denmark. The company insists that it obeys Israeli and non-Israeli legislation, including all applicable export laws and regulations. At the moment, Allot is investigating the claims contained in the press reports.

However, 3 former sales employees for the company told during the interview that the fact was well known inside the company that the software was headed to Iran. There’s a bigger fear that if the United States finds that the firm has been flogging the gear to Iran it might forbid shipments to the lucrative American market.

The software shipped to Iran is named NetEnforcer, and it was specifically designed for looking at pieces of information moving over a network. This application may be used in various ways, from eliminating and protecting from spam to helping network operators prioritize or ban specific types of traffic. However, the security experts agree that the worries are groundless – in fact, the software in question can’t really be used to spy on people. Moreover, it lacks any capability to analyse or extract knowledge on the real content of online traffic. Still, the investigation is carried on and Allot may find itself in a big trouble.

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