Israel-tech-espionage-economy-tech-telecoms,LEAD CEO of NSO, maker of spyware Pegasus BEWARE – adds statements from NSO executives ///
Jerusalem, August 21, 2022 (AFP) – Israeli cybertech company NSO, maker of the controversial Pegasus spyware, announced on Sunday a “reorganization” of its business, the departure of its CEO and its desire to refocus its sales on NATO member countries. “NSO group today announces a reorganization of the company and the departure of CEO Shalev Hulio, replaced by Yaron Shohat, current director of operations who will preside over the reorganization,” the company said in a statement sent to AFP. According to the Israeli specialized press, NSP plans to lay off around 100 of its 700 employees as part of this reorganization. NSO did not confirm these figures, but indicated that it was “streamlining its operations”, in order to “remain one of the largest cybertech companies in the world”, and to concentrate its sales “to NATO member countries”. In the summer of 2021, NSO found itself in the spotlight after a media consortium revealed that the phone numbers of at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders had been spied on via its Pegasus software. This computer tool, considered a “weapon” by the Israeli defense which must give the green light to its export, allows for example to remotely activate the cameras and microphones of a smartphone. The firm NSO repeats since these revelations, and others which followed, to have obtained the licenses to export its software and that the latter, intended for counterterrorism and the fight against crime, could have been “hijacked” of its use by some customers. But these revelations and a debt contracted beforehand by the group have amputated its cash threatening until the survival of this flagship Israeli cybertech company, according to court documents consulted at the beginning of the year by AFP. The documents revealed an internal battle over which countries the group should sell its technology to, with some creditors saying they did not object to its sale to so-called ‘high-risk’ countries because of their compliance record. human rights, to avoid losing money. According to these documents, Berkeley Research Group (BRG), an American management firm which manages the majority of the group’s shares, opposed it, insisting on the priority for NSO to get out of the American blacklist of companies threatening state security. on which it was placed in November. “The company is reorganizing to prepare for its next wave of growth. And Yaron (Shohat) is the right person at the right time,” outgoing CEO and co-founder Shalev Hulio said in a statement. “NSO will ensure that its advanced technologies are used in a fair and commendable manner,” added new boss Yaron Shohat, who joined the company in 2018. gl/mib/hj

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