CEO Resigns After His Company Designed Scandalous Spying Software

( The NSO Group’s CEO is resigning immediately, the company revealed Sunday, and 100 staff are being laid off as part of a reorganization. Shalev Hulio, one of the firm’s founders, will transfer over management to Yaron Shohat.

A spokeswoman said the reform would investigate all facets of its business, including streamlining its operations.

According to several sources, 100 employees, or 13% of NSO’s personnel, would be let go as part of the firm’s reorganization. Shohat will head the company until the board finds a new CEO.

A financial planning and analysis team head wrote on LinkedIn that the NSO Group is sad today. After a difficult period with many difficulties and challenges, the company must lay off over 100 employees.

The shakeup comes amid a scandal that the NSO Group’s Pegasus software is accused of spying. The corporation is fighting many lawsuits over charges that its products were used to hack journalists, dissidents, and human rights activists’ phones without their knowledge.

The NSO Group maintains its software is only sold to “vetted and legal” government clients and is used to target terrorists, pedophiles, and severe criminals.

The Pegasus Project, a collaboration of more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries, published an investigation in July 2021, claiming the spyware had been used to target heads of state, activists, and journalists, including Jamal Khashoggi’s family before and after his murder.

The NSO Group refuted Pegasus Project allegations, claiming their “technology wasn’t involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s death.”

Last year, the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted the corporation and other foreign firms “based on evidence that these entities developed and delivered spyware to other governments.”

Meta Platforms Inc., WhatsApp’s parent company, sued NSO in 2019, saying the business employed spyware to target 1,400 WhatsApp users.

Apple sued NSO in 2021 for spying on Apple users.

ProPublica reports that NSO has spent “hundreds of thousands” of dollars pushing to be taken from the blacklist since then.

NSO asked the Supreme Court to designate it as a foreign government agent, which would provide it immunity under U.S. rules barring litigation against foreign countries.

The firm’s temporary successor Shohat told Reuters on Sunday that the company’s goods remain in great demand with governments and law enforcement agencies due to its cutting-edge technology and proven capacity to fight crime and terror,

NSO says they will ensure the company’s revolutionary technology “is used properly.”