Israeli Security Firm's Spyware Tool Can Harvest Cloud Data of Targeted User

2016 shows the logo of the Israeli NSO Group company on a building in Herzliya Israel

2016 shows the logo of the Israeli NSO Group company on a building in Herzliya Israel

"There is a fundamental misunderstanding of NSO, its services and technology", it said.

The NSO Group, a famous Israel security firm has reportedly developed tools which can be able to scrape data from cloud services.

The report further states that while NSO Group denied building hacking or mass-surveillance tools for cloud services, it did not specifically deny that it had developed the new surveillance feature.

"We've found no evidence of access to Google accounts or systems, and we're continuing our investigation", a spokesman for the California-based internet giant said. Suffice it to say, Pegasus is an expensive tool which costs millions of dollars and, as a result, is primarily marketed towards foreign governments and intelligence agencies.

"We automatically protect users from security threats and we encourage them to use tools like our Security Checkup, 2-step verification, and our Advanced Protection Program, if they believe they may be at especially high risk of attack".

Facebook added: "Protecting the security of people's accounts is a top priority".

People who are supposedly familiar with NSO Group's sales pitch told Financial Times that Pegasus can gather a person's full history of their location data, archived messages, and photos.

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Microsoft said its technology was "continually evolving to provide the best protections to our customers" and urged users to "maintain a healthy device".

Apple, Google, and Microsoft were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. Its primary customers are government agencies around the world. The software tool is actually classified as a "weapon" by the Israeli government, placing additional restrictions on who it can be sold to, and NSO insists that it's only sold to "responsible governments to help prevent terrorist attacks and crimes".

According to sources Australian authorities are harvesting data from targeted individuals' smartphones, what is not known is whether they have a warrant to do this or after obtaining information they find ways to justify the issuing of a warrant.

"Our products are licensed in small scale to legitimate government intelligence and law enforcement agencies for the sole goal of preventing or investigating serious crime including terrorism".

An Israeli woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group, on August 28, 2016, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. It also allows ongoing access to data uploaded from laptops, tablets, and phones, even after Pegasus is removed from the initially targeted smartphone.

"Increasingly sophisticated terrorists and criminals are taking advantage of encrypted technologies to plan and hide their crimes, leaving intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the dark and putting public safety and national security at risk", the company statement said.

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