US consultants lined up to run fund that owns Israeli spyware company NSO

Public investors in the private equity firm that owns a majority stake in the Israeli spyware company NSO Group are in talks to transfer management of that fund to Berkeley Research Group, a US consulting firm.

A person familiar with the matter told the Guardian the talks, which are at an early stage, followed an internal dispute between the co-founders of Novalpina Capital, whose fund took over NSO Group in 2019.

NSO Group has been at the centre of a massive surveillance scandal following the publication of the Pegasus project, an investigation into NSO by 17 media organisations. At the heart of the investigation was a leak of tens of thousands of phone numbers of individuals – including journalists, activists, lawyers, and heads of state – who are believed to have been listed as people of interest for possible surveillance by NSO’s government clients.

The publication of the investigation by the Guardian and other media organisations came as the three co-founders of Novalpina were already embroiled in a long-running dispute over the future of the fund.

이번 주, Sky News and the Financial Times reported that Novalpina was stripped of control of its own fund as a result of the internal dispute, leading the fund’s outside investors to seize control.

The intervention left ownership of NSO and an Estonian gambling company called Olympic Entertainment Group, as well as other assets, hanging in the balance.

The FT reported that the fund’s outside investors, including public pension funds in the US and UK, had until 6 August to decide whether to liquidate the fund with a fire sale of assets or appoint a third party to take control of it.

A person close to the matter told the Guardian the fund’s largest investor, the Oregon public pension fund, was leading a push to transfer the management of the Novalpina fund to US-based BRG.

Novalpina declined to comment. NSO declined to comment. BRG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The deal has not yet been finalised. The Israeli government, which has close oversight over NSO and the export of its surveillance technology, would likely have a say over the transfer of management of the fund that owns NSO to another firm.

According to is website, BRG is a global consulting firm that “helps organisations advance in three key areas”: disputes and investigations, corporate finance, and performance improvement.

If the deal proceeds, the California-based company would take over the fund that owns NSO at a difficult time for the Israeli company. The French government has called for an investigation into allegations that NSO clients listed key government officials, including most of Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet, as persons of interest. 미국에서, a senior Biden administration official involved in national security has also raised concerns about the Pegusus project revelations to an Israeli official.

The Pegasus project was organised by Forbidden Stories, a French media organisation.

국제앰네스티 보안 연구소에서 수십 대의 전화기에 대한 법의학적 분석, Pegasus 프로젝트의 기술 파트너, 분석 및 유출 목록에 포함된 많은 전화기가 NSO의 스파이웨어에 감염되었음을 발견했습니다., 페가수스라고 불리는, 또는 감염 시도가 있었다.

NSO의 Pegasus 스파이웨어가 전화를 감염시키는 경우, 이를 사용하는 정부 고객은 개인의 전화 대화에 액세스할 수 있습니다., 메시지, 사진과 위치, 녹음기를 조작하여 전화기를 휴대용 청취 장치로 전환할 뿐만 아니라.

누출에 다음 목록이 포함되어 있습니다. 50,000 이후 NSO 고객이 관심 있는 사람의 것으로 식별된 것으로 여겨지는 전화번호 2016.

유출된 목록에 숫자가 표시되어 있다고 해서 해킹이 시도되거나 성공한 것은 아닙니다.. NSO said President Macron was not a “target” of any of its customers, 의미 회사는 그의 휴대전화에 페가수스 감염이 시도되거나 성공한 적이 없다고 부인합니다..

NSO는 또한 데이터가 회사와 "관련이 없다"고 말했습니다., 과 Pegasus 프로젝트의 보고를 거부했습니다. "잘못된 가정과 입증되지 않은 이론으로 가득차". 유출된 데이터가 Pegasus 소프트웨어의 감시 대상이 된 데이터임을 부인했습니다.. NSO는 50,000 숫자가 과장되어 Pegasus의 표적이 된 개인을 나타내기에는 너무 크다고 말했습니다..

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