Israel Starts Looking At The NSO Group…. And They Might Have Other Problems Too

With all the controversy surrounding the NSO Group, I am guessing that the Government of Israel must have thought that it has to take a look at them…. Seeing as they are based in that country and anything bad that The NSO Group does would likely look bad on Israel. Thus they paid The NSO Group a visit:

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 defense ministry said in a statement today.

And:

The 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 report. 

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.”

A government investigation may be the least of their problems though. There’s news that the private equity firm that owns The NSO Group is to be liquidated:

London-based Novalpina Capital, which bought the NSO Group in 2019, is being dissolved after a dispute between its co-founders.

Its liquidation leaves the future ownership of NSO unclear, just as the company is grappling with the fallout of a vast electronic espionage scandal. 

Novalpina also owns the Estonian casino group Olympic Entertainment and French pharmaceutical company X.O. 

The Financial Times reported that Novalpina’s investors “have until August 6 to decide whether to liquidate the fund with a fire sale of its assets, or appoint a third party to take control of it”.

That in my minds leaves the future existence of this company up in the air. And that could be bad for all of us. If the spyware that they make gets out into the wild because the company ends up in the hands of the wrong people, none of us will be safe. Thus I will be watching this with interest, and some degree of concern.

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