Israeli Cybersecurity firm NSO Group has been under a great deal of scrutiny and condemnation around the world because of how its Pegasus spyware software has been used by autocratic regimes to spy on political dissidents. Now comes word that the British Gas energy company has invested some of its employees’ pension fund in NSO Group.
In fact, British newspaper the Financial Times has reported that both the British Gas retirement investment fund of Centrica, which is the parent company of British Gas, was one of the largest investors in an investment stake in the NSO Group that was held in 2019. The money was invested in a private equity fund raised by Novalpina Capital, a firm set up in 2017 which owns a 70 percent stake in NSO Group.
The Financial Times said, “The Centrica Combined Common Investment Fund has a seat on a committee of Novalpina’s biggest investors. Each of these investors contributes at least tens of millions of euros, two people with knowledge of the matter said.”
Israel Cybersecurity firm NSO Group develops ways to break through encryptions and security systems. Last July, it was revealed that NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware software aids in the violation of people’s human rights around the world and that the company has known all about this. Specifically, they were charged with helping governments hack the telephones of journalists.
NSO Group was eventually blacklisted by the U.S. government in November. And in December it was reported that NSO Group Pegasus spyware was used to track American embassy employees in East Africa. Specifically, 11 U.S. Embassy employees working in Uganda had their iPhones hacked by the program.
In the latest scandal, Israel’s Police stand accused of using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to track the movements of Israeli citizens. Israeli financial news publication Calcalist reported that the police uses NSO’s Pegasus spyware to remotely hack phones of Israeli citizens. Pegasus is also used, Calcalist says, to track the phone owners and to extract information from their mobile devices.