Spyware firm NSO Group could be acquired by US defense contractor

Posted:
in General Discussion
Pegasus spyware maker NSO Group, which has been beset by controversy, could be acquired by a US defense contractor named L3Harris.

NSO Group headquarters in Israel.
NSO Group headquarters in Israel.


The Israeli-based cyber surveillance is currently moving toward a deal to be acquired by L3Harris, a U.S. defense electronics and communications equipment specialist, IntelligenceOnline has reported.

NSO Group has been hit hard by U.S. blacklisting in 2021, as well as other financial woes. It is currently in the midst of negotiating its restructuring with a view of being purchased by L3Harris, which is currently the leading candidate for an acquisition.

The Israeli company became notorious when reports surfaced that its spyware had been used by authoritarian governments to surveil activists, journalists, and opposition political figures.

The company's Pegasus spyware tool, which allowed an attacker to target iPhones, was also used in a hack of smartphones belonging to U.S. State Department officials.

Apple in November 2021 sued NSO Group in an effort to hold the company accountable for its tool being used to surveil Apple users. The iPhone maker has also reputedly worked to plug security vulnerability used by Pegasus and other hacking tools.

L3Harris is a Florida-based firm known for making a variety of military and defense tools, ranging from night vision equipment to tactical radios. It is said to specialize in surveillance solutions and electronic warfare.

As an example, L3Harris is known for the StingRay, a cellular surveillance tool widely used by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Under both financial and legal pressure, NSO Group in December was said to be considering killing off its Pegasus tool.

Some in the digital civil rights space, including nonprofit AccessNow, have spoken out against the deal, stating that it threatens the national security of the U.S. and the rights of people around the world.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,087member
    So instead of shutting it down as a blatant spyware company, of course an American firm based in Florida, probably financed by NSA, is buying it. Enough said.
    JaiOh81williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 2 of 7
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,820member
    rob53 said:
    So instead of shutting it down as a blatant spyware company, of course an American firm based in Florida, probably financed by NSA, is buying it. Enough said.
    This deal.sy be financed (Directly or indirectly) but L3 is a large longtime defense and similar contractor.  It usd to be called L3 Communications but I think broke up in the last few years into a few parts.  Not sure about that.  

    I just  wanted to dispel the implications that L3Harris is a front for the NSA.  
  • Reply 3 of 7
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,087member
    chadbag said:
    rob53 said:
    So instead of shutting it down as a blatant spyware company, of course an American firm based in Florida, probably financed by NSA, is buying it. Enough said.
    This deal.sy be financed (Directly or indirectly) but L3 is a large longtime defense and similar contractor.  It usd to be called L3 Communications but I think broke up in the last few years into a few parts.  Not sure about that.  

    I just  wanted to dispel the implications that L3Harris is a front for the NSA.  
    I was kind of being sarcastic about them being fronted by the NSA but since they are part of the military infrastructure, I'm sure they receive some hidden government financing which could be from NSA's coffers. 

    $17B+ annual revenue, 47K employees in over 100 countries. Headquarters, 1025 W. NASA Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32919, south of Cape Canaveral. Locations in the middle and far east. Any American/global company this large dealing in "Securing the World Around Us" gets government funding and probably is able to hide funding sources from the three-letter government agencies. Do I have proof, absolutely not but this company is a "US defense contractor" (article title) so I absolutely know they receive government funding and probably covert government funding. Unless you work or have worked for the US government you are not able to say they absolutely don't receive money from the NSA. If you know they do, you are not allowed to mention this since everything done by the NSA is classified, unless they declassify it for public use.
    williamlondondarkvader
  • Reply 4 of 7
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 938member
    USA USA???
  • Reply 5 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    This is why Apple should never bend to our corrupt government.  Small favors turn into big favors. Next this you know they demand back doors to an OS they don’t own and didn’t work to create.

    This is why I’m against the U.K. forcing USB-C on iPhones. They have no business telling Apple what to do with their hardware. What will they require next? A government tracking chip?

    Ports need to GO. I hope Apple can completely remove the lightning port and throw the governments into a loop of confusion. Close hardware access to iPhone.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    personperson Posts: 26member
    Any company that would be interested in buying the NSO group is obviously even more evil and immoral. 

    darkvader
  • Reply 7 of 7
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 959member
    Beats said:
    This is why Apple should never bend to our corrupt government.  Small favors turn into big favors. Next this you know they demand back doors to an OS they don’t own and didn’t work to create.

    This is why I’m against the U.K. forcing USB-C on iPhones. They have no business telling Apple what to do with their hardware. What will they require next? A government tracking chip?

    Ports need to GO. I hope Apple can completely remove the lightning port and throw the governments into a loop of confusion. Close hardware access to iPhone.

    You seriously think removing the port could stop a gov?  You know everything exposed by the port and a LOT more can be accessed by opening the phone, right?

    All removing the port does is inconvenience users and waste electricity.  (And while wireless charging losses may not be a big deal on your particular phone, when they're multiplied by billions of phones it's actually a serious problem.)
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