Israeli cyberattack company NSO Group is to appoint Isaac Benbenisti as CEO, the company has announced. Benbenisti, who stepped down as CEO of Israeli telecom Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) in April after six years in the job was appointed NSO co-president three months ago. This will be the first time that NSO won’t be managed by one of its founders – current CEO Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie.

Hulio announced back at the start of the year that he would be stepping down as CEO to lead major financial efforts such as a public offering or bringing in a significant new investor. Hulio will become deputy chairman of the board and global president.

NSO group is also expanding its activities into cybersecurity and other commercial sectors. Hulio will also lead the expansion into these new sectors, which will include cybersecurity protection against Trojan horses and other intelligence surveillance attacks as well as solutions in other commercial areas such as big data.

Since July, NSO has been at the center of a global storm following an investigation by Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories about how governments worldwide have used its Pegasus spyware for surveillance of the mobile phones of journalists, human rights activists and political opponents by authoritarian regimes is such countries as the UAE, Hungary, India and Mexico. NSO insists it has stopped working with governments that violate the terms of use of its spyware.

Pegasus spyware is considered the ultimate in surveillance gathering enabling governments to connect to mobile devices and obtain all the data stored on the phone.

Three months after the Amnesty-Forbidden Stories investigation, NSO is still suffering image problems. The Ministry of Defense, which supervises NSO’s activities, have audited the company’s Herzliya offices and the company has lost several major customers. “Reuters” estimates that NSO has lost contracts worth $300 million annually.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on October 31, 2021.

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