Customers Are Responsible for Hacking Not Us: NSO Group of Pegasus Spyware Seller
Remnants of Spyware Were Found Through Forensics Analysis on Several Phone Numbers from the Alleged List
The creator of the power spyware software has been said to allegedly hack the smartphones of innocent individuals and has given a public statement in which they have clearly said not to blame their firm, as putting the blame on Pegasus spyware is similar to that of blaming a car manufacturing firm in case a drunk driver crashes the vehicle.
The corporation NSO Group is currently facing criticism internationally after the reporters were able to obtain a list of suspected possible targets for the Pegasus spyware, including journalists, politicians, and activists.
Several investigations have been initiated as the list, which contains around 50,000 phone numbers, contained a small number of phones which have been hacked.
The Pegasus spyware has the ability to infect both android and iPhone devices and allows the operators to extract any and all messages, emails, photos, is able to record phone calls, and secretly active the smartphone’s camera and microphone.
According to the Israeli firm, their Pegasus spyware software was developed with the intention to use it against terrorists and criminals, and would only be made available for the purposes of the military, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies from those nations which have a respectable human-rights record.
But an association of news organization, which was led forward by Forbidden Stories, which is a French media outlet, has recently published multiple stories which are based around the phone numbers list, which also included allegations that the phone number of the President of France Emmanuel Macron is on that list, and maybe one of the targets.
The NSO Group has stated that they have been told that the list containing the target’s phone numbers had been hacked from their servers located in Cyprus. But the spokesperson of the firm said that the company does not have any Cyprus servers, and also they do not have any data which belongs to their customers in their possession. More to that, all of the customers of Pegasus spyware are not related at all to anyone, as each one of their clients is separate.
This somehow proves that a list that has surfaced should not be present at all. The circumstantial evidence which has recently been discovered, including the list of phone numbers of alleged potential targets, is not the way Pegasus spyware works.
The spokesperson also said that the amount of phone numbers on that list is insane, as their customers usually have an average number of about 100 targets in a single year that are infected with Pegasus spyware. Since the formation of the firm, they have yet to reach the total target number of 50,000.
In many instances over the past recent few years, the firm has several times suffered from having been accused of allowing governments with repressive actions to hack individuals that are innocent, including those that were close to Jamal Khashoggi, the columnist for the Washington Post who was murdered.
All these allegations have been denied by the firm
While the firm does not keep a routine check on the targets that are infected with the Pegasus spyware, they have several systems in place for the security services they are selling to.
Earlier this month, NSO Group has initiated its Transparency Report, which said that they must keep holding themselves towards a much higher standard and must act with increased transparency and stewardship, which would help to ensure the safety of the public along with concerns regarding privacy and human rights.
On Wednesday, the spokesperson stated that if he is the creator of an automobile, and if an individual takes the vehicle and drunk driving it and hit another person, the person who is to blame is the driver who was driving under the influence not the manufacturer.
He added that the firm is currently sending the entire system to the government, as they are getting all correct accreditations and want to sort through this legally. If a customer decides to handle the system inappropriately, he will not remain their customer anymore. And all the allegations that are being made around the Pegasus spyware should actually be made regarding the client.
Out of 50,000 phone numbers, 67 agreed to provide their smartphones for forensic analysis, after which it was confirmed that 37 of those were targeted by Pegasus spyware. According to the NSO Group spokesperson, this could be a coincidence and has no knowledge of how their spyware’s remnants were to be found in some of those phone numbers from the list.