The US government has sanctioned today four companies that develop and sell spyware and other hacking tools, the US Department of Commerce announced today.
NSO Group has been placed on a US blacklist by the Biden administration after it determined the Israeli spyware maker has acted “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US”.
The finding by the commerce department represents a major blow to the Israeli company and reveals a deep undercurrent of concern by the US about the impact of spyware on national security.
The company’s signature spyware – known as Pegasus – is alleged to have been deployed by foreign governments against dissidents, journalists, diplomats and members of the clergy, with several alleged victims in the UK. Its clients have included Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary and India.