Scandal-Ridden Spyware Company NSO Mulls Closing Pegasus Unit, Selling Company to Americans

© AFP 2022 / JACK GUEZAn Israeli woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group, on August 28, 2016, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. - Apple iPhone owners, earlier in the week, were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers. Lookout and Citizen Lab worked with Apple on an iOS patch to defend against what was called "Trident" because of its triad of attack methods, the researchers said in a joint blog post. Trident is used in spyware referred to as Pegasus, which a Citizen Lab investigation showed was made by an Israel-based organization called NSO Group.
An Israeli woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group, on August 28, 2016, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. - Apple iPhone owners, earlier in the week, were urged to install a quickly released security update after a sophisticated attack on an Emirati dissident exposed vulnerabilities targeted by cyber arms dealers.
Lookout and Citizen Lab worked with Apple on an iOS patch to defend against what was called Trident because of its triad of attack methods, the researchers said in a joint blog post.
Trident is used in spyware referred to as Pegasus, which a Citizen Lab investigation showed was made by an Israel-based organization called NSO Group. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.12.2021
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NSO's scandal-plagued Pegasus spyware has ignited several scandals and put the company on the verge of defaulting on its own debt after it was blacklisted by the United States over its alleged threat to the country's national security.
Israeli spyware firm the NSO Group is considering shutting down its Pegasus unit and selling the entire company to an American investment fund, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company, previously blacklisted by the United States over its alleged involvement in actions that threaten the country's national security, has been facing the risk of defaulting on its debts. Currently, per Bloomberg, several options are on the table, including refinancing or outright sale.
Two American investment funds are being considered as potential new owners. The discussions, according to the sources, involve mulling over a scenario of them taking over and shutting down the Pegasus unit. Then, the funds reportedly would pour $200 million in fresh capital in order to use Pegasus' know-how for making "strictly defensive cyber security services" or "perhaps develop the Israeli company’s drone technology".
This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group which features 'Pegasus' spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. - Private Israeli firm NSO Group has denied media reports its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israel's defence ministry - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2021
Israeli Spyware Firm Behind Pegasus Faces Risk of Default After US Blacklisting
The spyware firm found itself in hot water after its Pegasus technology was widely reported to have been used in order to track thousands of journalists, politicians, and activists around the world. In early December, The Washington Post reported that the spyware had been used to track the gadgets of 11 US officials working in East Africa.
Citing national security threats, Washington moved to blacklist NSO - something that appeared to drive the company to the verge of default. The company said it was "alarmed" by the decision, insisting that its "technologies align with the interests and policies of US national security, and aid combating terrorism and crime".
The tech company Apple also cracked down on NSO, suing it for allegedly targeting users of its devices and seeking to permanently ban the use of Apple products by the Israeli firm.
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