Israeli company NSO to be blacklisted by new boss

Yaron Shohat is “the right choice at the right time”, the outgoing head of the Israeli NSO Group praised his successor. He will make a “very significant” contribution to the further development of the software company. In the statement at the end of August, Shalev Hulio, who stepped down as CEO but remains associated with NSO, also spoke of an upcoming “reorganization” of the company in order to “prepare for the next phase of growth”.

Christian Meier

Political correspondent for the Middle East and Northeast Africa.

In fact, Yaron Shohat is said to be leading a restructuring process. This is an enormous challenge for the previous head of operations, who has been with the company since 2018. Because the NSO Group, founded in 2010, has had phenomenal success, but at the same time slipped deep into the crisis last year. That’s thanks to the company’s most famous and notorious product: the Pegasus spy software.

The most notorious spy software in the world

The program is considered the most powerful on the market. Unlike many other spyware programs, it is possible to inject Pegasus onto an iOS or Android smartphone without the user having to click a link in a message. Pegasus was first detected in 2016. Over the years, NSO has added more and more capabilities to the software. An infected phone can be fully spied out, including saved passwords, conversations can be recorded, microphone and camera activated.

NSO has always insisted that Pegasus is only being sold for the purpose of fighting crime. The new boss also points to this. In a statement released by NSO, Shohat said the company’s products remain in high demand among governments and law enforcement agencies “because of its cutting-edge technology and proven ability to help these customers fight crime and terrorism.”

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