NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance firm that sells the spyware Pegasus, has trashed reports in The Wire and other publications that said phone numbers of Indian ministers, opposition leaders and journalists have been found on a database of targets for hacking. According to The Wire report, the leaked database was accessed by Paris-based media non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and shared with several publications.
Here is the full statement by NSO Group:
The report by Forbidden Stories is full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources. It seems like the “unidentified sources” have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality.
After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report. Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims.
In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.
NSO Group has a good reason to believe the claims that are made by the unnamed sources to Forbidden Stories, are based on misleading interpretation of data from accessible and overt basic information, such as HLR Lookup services, which have no bearing on the list of the customers targets of Pegasus or any other NSO products. Such services are openly available to anyone, anywhere, and anytime, and are commonly used by governmental agencies for numerous purposes, as well as by private companies worldwide.
The claims that the data was leaked from our servers, is a complete lie and ridiculous, since such data never existed on any of our servers.
As NSO has previously stated, our technology was not associated in any way with the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi. We can confirm that our technology was not used to listen, monitor, track, or collect information regarding him or his family members mentioned in the inquiry. We previously investigated this claim, which again, is being made without validation.
We would like to emphasize that NSO sells it technologies solely to law enforcement and intelligence agencies of vetted governments for the sole purpose of saving lives through preventing crime and terror acts. NSO does not operate the system and has no visibility to the data.
Our technologies are being used every day to break up pedophilia rings, sex and drug-trafficking rings, locate missing and kidnapped children, locate survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, and protect airspace against disruptive penetration by dangerous drones. Simply put, NSO Group is on a life-saving mission, and the company will faithfully execute this mission undeterred, despite any and all continued attempts to discredit it on false grounds.