Israel begins investigation into NSO Group spyware abuse

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“That’s true,” he said. “I believe it’s very good that they are checking, since we know the truth and we know that the list never existed and is not related to NSO.”

The reports focused largely on the successful hacking of 37 smartphones of business leaders, journalists, and human rights activists. But they also pointed to a leaked list of over 50,000 more phone numbers of interest in countries that are reportedly clients of NSO Group. The company has repeatedly denied the reporting. At this point, both the source and meaning of the list remain unclear, but numerous phones on it were hacked, according to technical analysis by Amnesty International’s Security Lab.

When asked if the government’s investigation process will continue, Hulio said he hopes it will be ongoing.

“We want them to check everything and make sure that the allegations are wrong,” he added.

International scandal

Despite the emphatic denials, the “Pegasus Project” has drawn international attention.

In the United States, Democratic members of Congress called for action against NSO.

“Private companies should not be selling sophisticated cyber-intrusion tools on the open market, and the United States should work with its allies to regulate this trade,” the lawmakers said. “Companies that sell such incredibly sensitive tools to dictatorships are the AQ Khans of the cyber world. They should be sanctioned, and if necessary, shut down.”

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