A Shady Israeli Intel Genius, His Cyber-spy Van and Million-dollar Deals

Tal Dilian was a respected member of Israel's elite intel units. In recent years he’s set up shop overseas and has orchestrated a number of massive cyber deals | A profile

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Shuki Sadeh
Shuki Sadeh
Shuki Sadeh
Shuki Sadeh

"Meet Tal Dilian, one of the oldest hands in the often murky world of cyber surveillance. The ex-Israeli intelligence officer is showing us one of his new toys, a 9 million dollar van full of NSA level surveillance kit that he claims can hack a smartphone and snoop on all the messages within.” That is how a video filmed by Forbes magazine in August 2019 opened. The video showed Col. (res.) Tal Dilian, a former commander of the intelligence corps’ Unit 81 who was considered one of the Israel Defense Forces’ most promising officers back in the 1990s, sitting in a van in Larnaca, Cyprus and demonstrating its ability to hack into smartphones within a radius of 500 meters from the vehicle.

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