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[Slashdot] - Israel Begins Investigation Into NSO Group Spyware Abuse


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Israeli government officials visited the offices of the hacking company NSO Group on Wednesday to investigate allegations that the firm's spyware has been used to target activists, politicians, business executives, and journalists, the country's Ministry of Defense said in a statement today. From a report: An investigation published last week by 17 global media organizations, claims that phone numbers belonging to notable figures have been targeted by Pegasus, the notorious spyware that is NSO's best-selling product. The Israeli Ministry of Defense did not specify which government agencies were involved in the investigation, but Israeli media previously reported that the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, Mossad, and Military Intelligence were also looking into the company following the publication of the Pegasus Project. NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio confirmed to MIT Technology Review that the visit had taken place, but continued the company's denials that the list published by reporters was linked to Pegasus. "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 of and meaning of the list remain unclear, but numerous phones on the list 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.

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