Intel terminated business relations with Israeli offensive cyber comp. NSO

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Politics Dec 21, 2021

Intel has terminated business relations with the Israeli offensive cyber company NSO, following the latter's entry into the US blacklist - according to a report in the Financial Times.
NSO reportedly uses equipment it purchases from a number of US vendors - such as Dell servers, Intel hardware and Cisco routers, and uses computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system. As you may recall, in early November, the US Department of Commerce announced that NSO, along with Candiro, would be blacklisted by entities acting against the national interest of the United States. This means that American companies could not sell technology and services to it without a permit.

Following this, according to the report, in recent weeks Intel has ordered all its employees to terminate all business relations with NSO. Intel responded by stating that it complies with US law and export control regulations. If Intel and other companies do disconnect from NSO and do not sell it equipment and technology, it will of course be a severe blow that will make it very difficult for the company to continue to function on a daily basis.
All of this joins the string of blows NSO has received recently, such as a recent lawsuit against it by Apple, or the announcement by American investment bank Jeffries to stop helping the company get loans. These and other incidents have led to reports that the Israeli company is considering selling the Pegasus attack software business. According to the Financial Times, NSO CEO Shalev Julio told a veteran colleague in a phone call, "We always knew this thing had an expiration date," and complained that customers sought to transfer contracts to lesser-known NSO competitors.
The Financial Times' investigation goes into the details of the deal in which NSO sold the Pegasus spyware to Uganda in 2019. According to the report, this was a relatively small transaction, worth $ 20-10 million (compared to the company's revenue of $ 243 million in 2020). Julio himself came to Uganda to promote it. Then, as previously reported, an unknown source tried to break into the tool for the phones of American diplomats in Uganda - which angered the US. It was then decided to put the NSO on the blacklist. A US official said the aim of the move was to "punish and isolate the company The NSO rejected the claims that the company was in crisis, saying that there was a gap between what was portrayed in the media and reality. They added that they had even recruited 30 new employees in recent weeks.
Yet the scandals continue to haunt society. According to a separate AP report, NSO's hacking software was used to hack into the phones of senior lawyers representing the opposition in Poland, as well as the phone of a prosecutor who had previously made decisions that angered the local government. The victims believe the break-in was commissioned by the Polish government. The NSO says, as usual, that they only work with legitimate governments, and are not responsible for operating the technology.

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