Israel's Defense Ministry reacted July 19 to the publication a day earlier on a critical investigative report against Israeli NSO company. The July 18 report by the Forbidden Stories Paris-based news site claimed NSO's spyware Pegasus was used in attempted and successful hacks and tracking of dozens of cellphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists and politicians, in countries across the globe.
The Defense Ministry did not announce explicitly if it would open an investigation into the matter. It simply noted that if it finds that NSO Group had violated the terms of its export licenses, it will take appropriate action. A statement issued by the ministry stated that Israel permits companies to export cybersecurity products to “government figures only for legal purposes and to prevent and investigate crimes and to combat terrorism. And this is dependent upon commitments regarding the end use/user from the purchasing country, which must abide by these conditions.”