Israeli spyware firm denies that it spies on users of Facebook, Apple and Google


Israeli spyware firm denies that it spies on users of Facebook, Apple and Google

The Israeli spyware firm (NSO) on Friday came out to deny claims on a report that it bragged to its clients that it can scoop information from services hosted on the online cloud by tech-savvy.

The Financial Times of London wrote that NSO Group had told buyers: ”(Pegasus) technology can surreptitiously scrape all of an individual’s data from the servers of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, according to people familiar with its sales pitch.”

However on Friday, in a written statement to AFP’s request for comment, NSO denied the allegation.

”There is a fundamental misunderstanding of NSO, its services and technology,” the statement reads.

“NSO’s products do not provide the type of collection capabilities and access to cloud applications, services, or infrastructure as listed and suggested in today’s FT article.” It further read.

The report had insinuated that its Pegasus software could reach beyond what is stored within the phone into connected cloud-based storage.

Such a capability would enable owners of the Pegasus hacking tool to see a target’s full location history, archived messages or photos and other key pieces of data previously hidden from view according to the The New Arab.

The firm was also believed to be behind the hack of Facebook’s WhatsApp some few months ago whereby, users were urged to upgrade to the latest version of the messaging app following reports that they could be vulnerable to having malicious spyware installed on their phones without their knowledge.

When contacted by AFP, Amazon and Google said they were looking into the matter and that investigations had been launched into the matter.

“We’ve found no evidence of access to Google accounts or systems, and we’re continuing our investigation,” they said.

They also encouraged users to use tools like our Security Checkup, 2-step verification, and their Advanced Protection Program(google), if they believe they may be at especially high risk of attack.”

By the time of publishing Apple, Facebook and Microsoft had not immediately responded to requests for comment by AFP.

In its defence, the firm said that it did not operate the Pegasus software on itself but rather to the few vetted governments that it sells to, to prevent mass destruction.

”(We) develop technology to prevent and investigate terror and crime,” a statement on their website reads.

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