Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group’s plans on selling to Integrity Partners may be in trouble. Globes has reported that the negotiations might be breaking down because of disagreements between the company’s controlling shareholder BRG and its CEO Shalev Hulio.
Apparently, the problem revolves around how BRG insists that any sale be contingent on NSO Group being split up into smaller parts.
In January it was revealed that US investment firm Integrity Partners began talks to acquire Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group. At the time it was reported that the spyware firm is likely worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. Integrity Partners would be expected to use their contacts to attempt to have NSO removed from the US Department of Commerce’s blacklist.
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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 January, a scandal erupted in Israel when a report in Calcalist revealed that the Israel Police had hacked the phones of many Israeli citizens, including politicians, without first acquiring the proper court orders for wiretapping as required by law. They used the Pegasus spyware made by NSO Group, which is widely regarded as one of the most powerful cyber-surveillance tools on the market, enabling operators to practically take complete control of a target’s phone, download any data from it, and activate the device’s camera or microphone without the target’s knowledge.