of the [extremely-Seinfeld-gif-voice]-That’s a shame Department
For years, NSO Group has provided some of the most untrustworthy governments in the world with powerful spyware that can completely compromise targeted devices. He managed to survive for several years reports linking his malware to surveillance by journalists and activists, but all hell broke loose earlier this year, resulting in a steady stream of reports his tools were using Surveillance of government officials, journalists, dissidents and government critics linked religious leaders and, in one incredible case, the ex-wife of the King of Dubai.
It couldn’t have been a worse time for NSO. It has amassed an impressive amount of debt that it likely assumed it would be able to handle as its market continues to grow. That growth has stalled, but payments have yet to be made. NSO has been downgraded by the rating firm Moodys, which warned that NSO was in default.
Combined with Israel’s drastic reduction in NSO’s customer base and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s blacklist, the company has led the company to consider shutting down its offensive spyware division (which is responsible for developing Pegasus) and its offer remaining assets for sale.
It may not be that easy to sell yourself out or find your way back to solvency. Bloomberg reports that one of the NSO’s debt managers has decided that it is no longer interested in providing these services for this particularly toxic asset.
Jefferies Financial Group Inc., one of the closest allies of the Wall Street spyware company NSO group, is stepping down from an important administrative role in debt management for the Israeli company, according to an expert.
The investment bank privately announced to the company’s lenders on Friday of its intention to step down as an administrative officer, a role in which Jefferies takes on debt payments for the company and other office duties, said the person who asked not to be identified because the information was not known are private land.
That seems like a pretty strong “vote of no confidence” in the NSO group. Whether it’s because Jefferies believes the NSO cannot repay its debts or because its reputation for facilitating oppression around the world has gone unmentioned.
But that’s not the only evidence of a lack of trust. It seems like a popular move to keep the malware supplier to a minimum arm’s length. A state government a few steps away from NSO wants to part with its holdings.
Oregon’s Treasurer is working with the Attorney General to examine legal opportunities for the state’s large investment in a smartphone spyware company – a company that has been denounced by human rights groups, the US government and technology giants.
In 2017, the Oregon Investment Council unanimously pledged $ 233 million from the state employee pension fund to a new private equity fund called Novalpina Capital, which later acquired a controlling interest in NSO Group, an Israeli company that manufactures smartphone Spyware creates.
This move could be due to NSO’s public image, which currently requires the use of a periscope to look out of the gutter. Or, it could be because of the equity fund’s internal problems that led investors – including the state of Oregon – to take control of the fund away from the company and turn it over to another company in its entirety.
But that statement by a state official suggests it has more to do with NSO’s current PR issues than with Novalpina’s apparent inability to properly manage an equity fund.
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read “supports sanctioning global technology companies that facilitate human rights abuses and the repression of journalists by selling technology to authoritarian regimes,” Read spokeswoman Amy Bates told The Associated Press on Thursday.
It is currently unclear whether the state will get out of there without being sued for breach of contract. But the state wants to go in this direction. NSO continues to claim that it is being unfairly punished for its customers’ actions by valuing “ethics over revenue” and selling malware only for the purpose of preventing terrorism and serious crime. But the facts say otherwise. And the NSO no longer has excuses for its willingness to sell powerful spyware to countries with long histories of human rights abuses and surveillance abuse.
Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things vying for everyone’s attention these days, we appreciate your giving us your time. We work hard every day to bring quality content to our community.
Techdirt is one of the few truly independent media companies left. We don’t have a huge company behind us and we rely heavily on our community to support us at a time when advertisers are less and less interested in sponsoring small, independent websites – especially a website like ours that isn’t ready to Have a say in your reporting and analysis.
While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying / intrusive advertisements, we’ve always kept Techdirt open and available to everyone. But in order to continue to do this, we need your support. We offer our readers a variety of ways to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions to cool merchandise – and every little bit helps. Thanks very much.
âThe Techdirt team
Filed under: Debt, Malware, Oregon, Spyware
Company: Jefferies Finance Group, nso group