Recent reports reveal that the billionaire Meta investor, Peter Thiel, has also been an investor in an anti-ransomware company, Halcyon, which is fully owned by the company, Boldend.
Boldend is a San Diego-based startup, that develops cybersecurity products to defend cyberspace. Founded back in 2017, the company was developed with an aim to assist in cyber warfare missions with a focus on automation and only one customer, reportedly, the U.S. government.
Though it keeps a low profile, the company did make it to the New York Times last weekend, right at the end of a feature on beleaguered Israeli spyware business, NSO Group. NSO Group is an Israeli cybersecurity tech startup, whose spyware is used by private companies and government agencies to spy on their citizens. Previously, NSO Group was also accused of hacking WhatsApp and sending malware to over 1,400 phones by exploiting a zero-day vulnerability.
Unfortunately, recent reports reveal that NSO Group is not the only company that has hacked into WhatsApp. Boldend’s hacking tools could also reportedly bypass WhatsApp’s security, according to a presentation made to the US defense contractor, Raytheon. The same presentation, grasped people’s attention when one of its slides showcased Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund as one of the investors backing the company. It was an entirely new revelation since the company, despite previously announcing other investors, had never announced Founders Fund as one of them.
This makes it sound rather ironic, that one of Meta’s best-known financial investors, has now been revealed to be an investor of a company that tried to hack one of Meta’s very own platforms.
Additionally, Thiel is also an investor of an anti-ransomware company, Halcyon, which is fully owned by Boldend, while the Halcyon.ai website further verifies this claim by listing Founders Fund as a backer, alongside another Boldend investor, Ron Gula.
Like many of Halcyon’s new employees, many staffers at Boldend come from Cylance, another defensive security company that claims to use artificial intelligence (AI) to secure networks. Cylance was acquired by BlackBerry back in 2019.