Israeli government agencies on Wednesday carried “inspection” on surveillance software vendor NSO Group “to examine” security breach allegations against the company’s Pegasus spyware that was alleged to be used by multiple governments around the world to snoop on public figures and opposition leaders among others.
The “inspection” was announced in a tweet by the Israel Ministry of Defence’s official account. “Representatives from a number of bodies came to NSO today to examine the publications and allegations raised in its case,” the ministry said in a tweet in Hebrew.
Confirming the raid, NSO said that it was confident that the inspection will prove the facts as declared by the company.
“We can confirm that representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Defense visited our offices. We welcome their inspection. The company is working in full transparency with the Israeli authorities. We are confident that this inspection will prove the facts are as declared repeatedly by the Company against the false allegations made against us in the recent media attacks,” NSO said in a statement.
The developments come amid a probe by France over allegations that President Emmanuel Macron and members of his government may have been targeted using the NSO spyware software in 2019.
The alleged snooping came to light on July 18 when a consortium of 17 media organisations around the world published the investigation that the Israeli spyware was used to extract messages, records calls and secretly activates microphones of public figures.
According to The Wire, the Indian media outlet part of the international media consortium, phones of opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Supreme Court judges, ministers, and journalists were among potential targets. The controversy has fuelled abrasive attacks on the government by the opposition and brought parliament to a gridlock.
The Indian government has been dismissive about the scandal, rejecting calls for a probe into the use of the spyware available only to governments and government agencies.