Israel’s NSO ends contract with UAE to use “Pegasus”
NSO ended Pegasus contract with UAE after English High Court say Dubai PM instructed hacking of his ex-wife's phone
The Israeli-based NSO Group ended its contract with the United Arab Emirates to use its powerful “Pegasus” state spyware tool because Dubai’s ruler was using it to hack the phones of his ex-wife and some close to her, her lawyers told England’s High Court.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, instructed the hacking of six phones belonging to Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, her lawyers and security team, England’s High Court ruled in a judgment which was made public on Wednesday.
The hacking took place last year during the couple’s ongoing multi-million dollar custody battle in London over their two children.
During the hearings, the court heard that NSO had cancelled its contract with the UAE for breaching its rules on using Pegasus, a sophisticated “wiretap” system used to harvest data from the mobile devices of specific suspected major criminals or terrorists.
“Whenever a suspicion of a misuse arises, NSO investigates, NSO alerts, NSO terminates,” NSO, which only licenses its software to government intelligence and law enforcement agencies, said in a statement after the rulings were published.
It said it had shut down six systems of past customers, contracts worth more than $300 million. NSO did not go into specifics.
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