NSO Group, the company that is known for its Pegasus spyware, has been blacklisted by the United States government.
The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security has added a total of four businesses to what it calls the Entity List. NSO Group is one of the four new additions to the list of the Commerce Department.
This list contains companies whose activities go against the national security and foreign policy interests of the US. The three other latest additions to the list are Candiru, Positive Technologies, and Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD.
NSO Group Blacklisted by the US
NSO Group, the company behind the Pegasus spyware, has been blacklisted by the US government after it was added to the Commerce Department’s Entity List.
According to the press release of the Commerce Department, the Entity List is a “tool utilized by BIS to restrict the export, reexport, and in-country transfer of items subject to the EAR to persons (individuals, organizations, companies) reasonably believed to be involved, have been involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”
EAR is the acronym for Export Administration Regulations.
Per the press release, the NSO Group was added to the Entity List “based on evidence that these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers.”
The Pegasus Spyware
(Photo : by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel’s NSO Group which features ‘Pegasus’ spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. – Private Israeli firm NSO Group has denied media reports its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israel’s defence ministry
NSO Group is arguably best known as the company behind the Pegasus Spyware. According to a report by The Verge, the Pegasus spyware infects people’s devices without prior notice and gives other people access to the victim’s messages, photos, and even passwords.
The spyware is able to do so without “leaving a trace,” per the report of The Verge.
The Pegasus spyware has been involved in numerous controversies and issues. The Verge’s report mentions Mexican journalists being targeted using Pegasus, Whatsapp’s lawsuit against the NSO Group, and The Pegasus Project.
The Pegasus Project revealed a list of heads of state, journalists, activists, and others who The Verge says are “seemingly connected to the spyware.”
Related Article: WhatsApp: NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware Attacks US Allies, Current Findings Coincides 2019 Incident
Other Companies Added to the Entity List
The NSO Group is one of the four new additions to the Commerce Department’s Entity List. An Israel-based company called Candiru has been added to the list for reasons similar to NSO Group.
The other two companies that have been added to the Entity List are Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD. and Russia-based Positive Technologies.
The press release of the Commerce Department says that these two companies have trafficked cyber tools that have been used to gain unauthorized access to the information systems of different individuals and organizations.
Read Also: Pegasus Spyware Forced French President Emmanuel Macron to Let Go of His iPhone
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Written by Isabella James
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