The reason for purchase of the spyware might be to monitor foreigners arriving in Hungary because of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Avnon Group, an Israeli technology company is ready to sell the software to the Hungarian government.
Avnon Group is a group of Israeli high-tech companies, developers, manufactures. It distributes advanced weapons, including cyber tools. Its advisory board includes two former generals of the Israel Defence Forces, a former police chief and the former head of the Mossad spy agency. Their activity grew significantly in Eastern Europe since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. These countries are afraid that they, too, will have to face Russian aggression, leading to an armed conflict.
All of their international trades are approved by the Ministry of Defence (who did not comment on the case). Hungary was recently removed from the Israeli government’s export list, so cyber weapons could not be sold to the Hungarian government. But recently the government lifted restrictions as to not interfere with the free market.
In their article, the Hebrew-language sister site of The Times of Israel mentioned the past spyware scandal. The Hungarian government used another Israeli group’s undetectable Pegasus software for surveillance. International investigation revealed that among the targets were journalists, businessmen and human rights activists. The European Union announced the launch of an investigation into the alleged Hungarian use of the Pegasus software.
This time, according to a member of Avnon Groups, Viktor Orbán’s government wants to follow the growing social and political tensions caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war. He believes that their reason for the purchase might be the monitoring of foreign refugees arriving in the country, writes Napi.hu. The software allows authorities to monitor online discourse, analyse and understand changes in public opinion.