Israeli spyware firm NSO Group 're-acquired' by founders

The NSO Group is an Israeli firm that has long marketed itself as a "cyber warfare" company, selling mobile surveillance technology to governments that include notoriously corrupt human rights abusers. One of these is Mexico, where NSO spyware played a key role in targeting teachers and journalists, and missing students.

On Thursday, NSO Group announced it has been "re-acquired" by its founders.

Security researchers found evidence NSO sold spyware to governments that are established human rights abusers.

The company has been accused of creating tools that help bad regimes invade privacy, conduct abusive surveillance, and target political enemies for detention, torture, and assassination.

From the Associated Press:

The NSO group announced that U.S.-based private equity firm Francisco Partners sold the company to its management, with support with the European private equity firm Novalpina Capital.

The company did not reveal terms of the deal, but Israeli media said the transaction valued NSO at $1 billion. NSO was sold in 2014 to Francisco Partners for $130 million.

NSO says it sells its technology to Israel-approved governments to help them stop militants and criminals. It says it has dozens of customers and posted revenue over $250 million last year.

"I am proud of what the company and our employees have achieved since we were founded in 2010. Together we have built an amazing technology company that is making the world a safer place," said company co-founder Shalev Hulio.


Spies tried to infiltrate Citizen Lab and trick them into talking about their research on Israeli spytech company NSO Group

Evidence of NSO Group surveillance products found in 45 countries, including notorious human-rights abusers

Investigators into mass murder of Mexican student teachers were attacked with NSO's government spyware

Israeli company's spyware used to target corruption-fighting journalists and lawyers in Mexico

Observations from Twitter, below.

PHOTO: Israeli NSO Group, Herzliya, Israel, 2016