Israel slashes list of countries that can buy cyber tech after Pegasus Fiasco: report
Jerusalem: Israel slashed his listing of countries eligible for to buy his cyber technologyfollowing concerns about possible abuse abroad of a hacking tool sold by Israeli the company NSO Group, Israel‘s Calçalisting financial journal reported Thursday.
The newspaper, which did not disclose its sources, said Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries which would henceforth be prohibited to import IsraelI cyber technology. The listing of countries authorized to to buy it had been reduced to just 37 states, down from 102.
IsraelMinistry of Defense, in response to the report, said in a statement that it takes “appropriate action” when the conditions of use set out in the export licenses it issues are violated, but has not confirmed that the licenses have been revoked. .
Israel has been under pressure to curb spyware exports since July, when a group of international news organizations reported that NSO’s Pegasus tool had been used to hack journal phoneslistings, government officials and rights activists in several countries.
Those reportis invited Israel review the cyber export policy administered by the Ministry of Defense.
Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, which have both normalized their relations with Israel last year, along with Saudi Arabia and Mexico were among the countries where Pegasus has been linked to political surveillance, according to Amnesty International and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab which studies surveillance.
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NSO has denied any wrongdoing, saying it only sells its tools to governments and law enforcement agencies and has safeguards in place to prevent abuse.
Earlier this month, US officials put NSO on a black marketlisting for selling spyware to governments that misused it. The company said it was dismayed by this decision, as its technologynologies “support the national security interests and policies of the United States by preventing terrorism and crime”.
NSO has also been the subject of lawsuits and criticism from major technology companies who accuse him of exposing their customers to hacking. Apple Inc was the last to sue NSO this week.