Israeli security cabinet minister Zeev Elkin said that the Israeli government had nothing to do with an alleged cyber-hack by NSO Group, a surveillance firm.
"NSO is a private player using capabilities that Israelis have, thousands of people are in the cyber field, but there is no Israeli government involvement here, everyone understands that, this is not about the state of Israel," Zeev Elkin said.
The apparent breach led WhatsApp to file a lawsuit on Tuesday against Israeli tech company NSO Group Technologies, accusing it of aiding government spies break into the smartphones of at least 1,400 users across four continents in a hacking spree whose targets included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and government officials.
In turn, NSO noted that it sells spyware solely to government customers.
Earlier this year, a number of high-ranking government officials from US-allied countries appear to have been targeted with software used to hack WhatsApp to covertly gain access to users’ phones, according to reports.
Last year, Facebook suspended about 200 apps during its investigation in the misuse of private data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal related to the political consultancy firm reportedly obtaining between 50 and 80 million Facebook profiles without users' authorization during the 2016 US presidential campaign.