Financial TimesFinancial Times

Israel’s NSO: the business of spying on your iPhone

By Mehul Srivastava in Herzlyia and Robert Smith in London

14 May 2019 · 9 min read

As Apple rolled out an advertising campaign last month touting the impenetrability of the iPhone — “Privacy. That’s iPhone”, the commercials promised — a secretive Israeli company called in its sales people to talk about an important update designed to thwart that very privacy.

According to one person at the meeting, the executives from NSO Group made a bold claim: using just one simple missed call on WhatsApp, it had figured out a way to “drop its payload”, a piece of software called Pegasus that can penetrate the darkest secrets of any iPhone.

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