In the summer of 2016, a Dubai-based human rights activist was targeted with a sophisticated iPhone hacking tool. That piece of malware had been developed by NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells surveillance and hacking tools to governments around the world.
It was the first time its malware—called Pegasus—was discovered in the wild, but NSO Group had been selling it since 2011, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. In 2016, NSO was so reluctant to get any public attention that it didn’t even have a website, and the little press coverage it got was vague and made it look
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