Commerce Department blacklists controversial spyware company NSO Group

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Nov 3, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

The Commerce Department Wednesday added two Israeli spyware companies, NSO Group and Candiru, to its entity list of companies that pose a national security and foreign policy risk to the United States.

The designation accuses both NSO Group and Candiru of having “developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used this tool to maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers.” Inclusion on the list enacts stringent licensing requirements for exports to designated companies from U.S. businesses. Companies previously included on the list include Chinese firm Huawei, which the U.S. government has accused of posing national security concerns to U.S. user data.

Also added to the entity list Wednesday were Russia-based Positive Technologies and Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative. The Commerce Department accused the two companies of trafficking “cyber exploits used to gain access to information systems, threatening the privacy and security of individuals and organizations worldwide.” The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Positive Technologies in April for supporting Russian government espionage.

These allegations are backed by a plethora of research by human rights and privacy experts, who have linked NSO Group and Candiru technology to spying

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