NSO said ‘list has nothing to do with us’ and report claimed Amnesty backtracked findings, but official statement says otherwise: ‘Data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO’s Pegasus spyware’.
“The list of 50,000 phone numbers has nothing to do with us,” the founder and CEO of the cyberespionage firm NSO Group told an Israeli financial daily on Wednesday.
The comments by NSO’s Shalev Hulio came after a week that saw the publication of a massive international investigation called Project Pegasus.
The project, led by an organization called Forbidden Stories together with Amnesty International and a consortium of newspapers and journalists across the world, was based on leaked data and revealed a long list of high-profile individuals that were selected as potential targets for the firm’s Pegasus spyware by its clients.
The aforementioned quote by Hulio is part of NSO’s wider response to the publication of the investigation over the past week. NSO made similar comments in recent days, writing in response to reports that the leaked database of phone numbers had nothing to do with them. The database, NSO said, was tantamount to “randomly picking numbers from the phonebook to compile a list of 50,000 numbers that were selected arbitrarily and writing baseless headlines based on it.”