Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel’s NSO has new owners, but espionage continues

May 31, 2023 at 9:47 am

The logo of Israeli cyber company NSO Group on November 11, 2021 in Sapir, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli cyber company NSO Group, owner of controversial Pegasus spying software, is under new ownership, but it continues to spy on international activists and officials, Arab48 reported yesterday.

Two and half years after it was blacklisted by the US administration and despite many complaints against it by activist groups and officials, NSO continues operating and spying on people.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that it has been forced to restructure by its lenders.

“The Israeli cybersecurity company blacklisted by the US for its sale of hacking tools to authoritarian regimes, is under new ownership after lenders forced a change of control with plans to keep its controversial spyware business going,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Novalpina Capital private equity fund bought the NSO Group in 2019 for about $1 billion, the Washington Post reported, noting that this might have happened due to financial issues, lack of paying debts, undisclosed legal prosecutions or other reasons.

READ: Morocco reviews expert testimonies on alleged use of Pegasus spyware

The Israeli company’s creditors, Credit Suisse and Senate Investment Group, foreclosed on NSO earlier this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The new owner is a Luxembourg-based holding firm called Dufresne Holdings controlled by NSO co-founder Omri Lavie, according to the newspaper report. Corporate filings now list Dufresne Holdings as the sole shareholder of NSO parent company NorthPole.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dufresne Holdings has removed “a number of directors and officers” across NSO and is involved in the company’s day-to-day management.

The Register reported an NSO spokesperson saying: “The company is managed directly by our CEO, Yaron Shohat. The lenders are currently in a process of restructuring the shareholders.”