NSO was about to sell hacking tools to France. Israeli spyware now


For most parts, NSO defended itself continued to run its business as normal, saying it only manufactures vehicles and does not control what foreign governments choose to do with Pegasus.

However, the reveal sequence in 2021 hit him differently.

The so-called “NSO Incident” in Israel this year’s scandalous attack cost the company millions of dollars in lost sales. Reports were widespread earlier this year. abuse made headlines around the world, but the company says the allegations are based on mischaracterizing a standard phone number database as NSO Group spying targets.

The US sanctions had a quicker and far greater impact on the company than any previous scandal. Bloomberg reported Wall Street’s avoidance of NSO and treatment of it as a distressed entity; Meanwhile, the newly appointed CEO of the company check out just one week after being appointed.

Sanctions place practical restrictions on how the company can operate. For example, it cannot legally purchase many of the tools it uses to enhance exploits, such as Windows laptops or iPhones, without the express consent of the United States government. The US told NSO Group that any default decision on the sale would be negative.

The US decision also has a deeper impact on the company. Morale is low and employees are distraught and confused, according to several people who spoke to MIT Technology Review on condition of anonymity. If the US fails to delist, there are real and serious doubts at the highest levels about the future of NSO.

strategic issues

The NSO’s links to the Israeli leadership also complicated the situation. Like many arms manufacturers, the NSO Group has a very close relationship with its government and has proven to be a crucial political and diplomatic tool for Israel over the past decade. When NSO Group began selling hacking tools to the UAE government, for example, then Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically insisted on the deal, according to people with knowledge of the sale.

In fact, Israel’s strategic plan to develop closer relations with its neighbors (neighbors who historically did not legally recognize Israel’s existence) has been fueled by NSO’s hacking technology, which is highly coveted by countries in the region. Pegasus has been used as a deal sweetener to strengthen Israel’s ties with countries like the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain.


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