Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group, at the heart of Pegasus’s snooping scandal, reported that several government clients around the world used spyware technology while the company was investigating alleged misuse, according to U.S. media reports. Temporarily blocked doing.
The alleged use of Pegasus software to spy on journalists, human rights advocates, politicians, etc. in many countries, including India, has raised concerns about privacy-related issues.
The outage corresponds to an investigation by the Pegasus Project, a media consortium that reported that the company’s Pegasus spyware was associated with hacking and potential surveillance.
“Some clients are being investigated. Some of them have been temporarily suspended,” said National Public Radio (NPR), a source from an Israeli company.
Employees of a source company do not name or quantify the government agency (or country) that NSO has recently stopped using spyware, and Israeli defense regulations identify clients. Insisted that it was forbidden. Said a non-profit media organization.
An ongoing internal investigation of NSO identified the phone numbers of people reported to have been marked as potential targets by NSO clients.
“In almost everything we checked, we couldn’t find a relationship with Pegasus,” the employee said, refusing to elaborate on the possible misuses that the NSO may have revealed. ..
The NSO “no longer responds to media inquiries about the matter and is incompatible with malicious and sneaky campaigns,” said an employee who spoke on condition of anonymity because of company policy.
The Israeli government is also facing pressure as it regulates the sale of spyware technology to other countries. We have started investigating allegations against NSO.
Israeli officials visited NSO’s office in Herzliya near Tel Aviv on Wednesday and “evaluated allegations filed with the company,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
NSO employees said the company was fully cooperating with the investigation and tried to prove to Israeli authorities that the people nominated in the media reports were not the targets of Pegasus.
Mercury Public Affairs, representing NSO Group, said in a statement Thursday: We are confident that this inspection will prove that the facts have been repeatedly declared by the company in response to the false allegations made against us in recent media attacks. “
The report states that the NSO has 60 customers in 40 countries, all of which are intelligence, law enforcement and military.
In recent years, before the media reported, he said he blocked software from five government agencies, including two in the past year, after finding evidence of misuse.
The Washington Post reported that clients were suspended to include several public authorities in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.
According to the company, spyware is sold to countries only to combat terrorism and crime.
Approximately three weeks before the story of the Pegasus project was published, NSO released its first report outlining its policy on combating technology misuse and protecting human rights. It cites a new procedure adopted last year to investigate allegations of possible software misuse.
NSO Group’s legal counsel, Shmuel Sunray, said the rigorous oversight the company faces is unfair given its review efforts.
“What we are doing today is what I think is the best standard we can do,” Sunray told NPR.
“I think we are the world leaders in human rights compliance on the one hand and we are poster children of human rights abuses on the other.”
Israeli NSO has blocked some government clients from using spyware against allegations of misuse.Report
Source link Israeli NSO has blocked some government clients from using spyware against allegations of misuse.Report