Cyprus Mail

Police investigations into spy van ‘at advanced stage’

The van

Investigations into the spy van seized by police over a week ago are at an advanced stage according to a report on Sunday in Politis, which says over one million phone numbers have been recorded.

According to the paper, the spy ware is being examined after passwords were broken and the server of the company that owns the van that has been set up in a Larnaca flat is being examined.

The investigations are being carried out by people in the state and private sector, the paper said.

Analysis on the server has revealed malware through which target smartphones have been hacked, worth about two €2 million. Without leaving traces, this virus is implanted on mobiles or computers and downloads all files and personal data of the owner.

It has also discovered that over a million phone numbers have been investigated and logged on the server, which investigators will need at least three weeks to sift through.

Some demos have also been discovered that relate to tens of hours of tapes.

Police launched an investigation after an Israeli national, Tal Dilian, an ex-intelligence officer gave an interview to Forbes essentially advertising his services, which included covert surveillance and eavesdropping, among others.

The van has since been seized, while police are investigating potential violations of privacy.

The company said on Tuesday it had not carried out any operations in Cyprus and the equipment in the van was only activated for testing and demos, but only on devices owned by its people.

The company that owns the van, WiSpear, has denied having any links to any party or politician.

Investigations so far cannot confirm that the van was carrying out investigations into specific targets in Cyprus, Politis said.

Examination of the hard drives found within the van began on Saturday afternoon and is expected to be finished later on Sunday or Monday.

The GPS system of the van is also set to be looked at to see where it travelled.

The paper also reported that the police are looking into claims by businesses and others that the black van has been seen in their vicinity, although the police have reportedly said they are not in a position to confirm or deny this.

Politis say their source claims that the police have called on Dilian to return to Cyprus to speak to them.
According to reports the Israeli registered the van through customs as having equipment to monitor the weather, however in a Forbes video that has circulated since August he talks about surveillance.

According to Politis, the police are very close to asking for arrest warrants to be issued for people either in Cyprus or abroad.

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