Will probe proof of misuse: Israel's NSO on Pegasus row

NEW DELHI: Israel-based firm NSO, the developer of the Pegasus spyware, on Wednesday said it will thoroughly investigate any credible proof of misuse of its technologies amid revelations that the software has been used to snoop on prominent leaders and journalists.
The statement follows a global investigation published on Sunday by 17 media organisations, led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, claiming the spyware was used to target the phones of politicians, journalists, government officials and human rights activists.
NSO, which had earlier denounced the leaked list, reiterated that the numbers on it are not related to the firm.
“Any claim that a name in the list is necessarily related to a Pegasus target or Pegasus potential target is erroneous and false,” it said in its latest statement titled ‘Enough is Enough’.
“NSO is a technology company. We do not operate the system, nor do we have access to the data of our customers, yet they are obligated to provide us with such information under investigations.”
The cyber firm said it will thoroughly investigate any credible proof of misuse of its technologies, adding it will shut down the system where necessary.
In a strongly-worded statement, it added that it won’t be responding to media inquiries on the matter or play along with the “vicious and slanderous campaign”.
Earlier, the NSO had rejected the reporting by the media partners, saying it was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”.
Pegasus is intended for use only by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime, NSO had said.
Meanwhile, Israel has set up a senior inter-ministerial team to “look into” proliferating allegations that spyware sold by NSO has been abused on a global scale.
The team is headed by Israel’s National Security Council, which answers to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The Wire, which was part of the international consortium, reported that the leaked list of “potential targets” for hacking featured several prominent names such as that of former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, BJP ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa and poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
The government had dismissed the media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on Indians, saying the allegations levelled just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament are aimed at “maligning Indian democracy”.
(With inputs from PTI)

Source Link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/will-probe-proof-of-misuse-shut-down-system-if-necessary-israels-nso-on-pegasus-row/articleshow/84619544.cms

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