In a statement posted on its website, NSO said the list of numbers did not come from its database. “Such data has never existed on any of our servers,” the statement said.
“As NSO has previously stated, our technology is not involved in any way with the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” the statement continued. “We can confirm that our technology was not used to listen to, track, track or collect information regarding him or his family members mentioned in the investigation. .”
In an interview, the company’s CEO and founder, Shalev Hulio, said he was first made aware of the list in June, when four separate people told him hackers were trying attempted to sell a listing that was allegedly stolen from the company’s server.
Mr. Hulio said that NSO did not have any active servers from which that data could be stolen, and as soon as he saw the list he realized that it was “not a list of items”. target is attacked by Pegasus, or something spawned from the Pegasus System or any other NSO product. He said the list appears to have been created by users of a separate app called HLR LookUp.
The Times journalists whose numbers are believed to be on the leaked list include Azam Ahmed, a former Mexico City bureau chief who has reported extensively on corruption, violence and surveillance in Latin America. , including the NSO itself; and Ben Hubbard, The Times’ Beirut bureau director, who has investigated abuses of power and corruption in Saudi Arabia and wrote a recent biography of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.
In January 2020, Mr. Hubbard published an account of an attempt to hack his own phone. Mr. Hulio denied that Mr. Hubbard’s phone was hacked by Pegasus and said he was the target of a rival Israeli technology company.
Michael Slackman, assistant managing editor for international news at The Times, said: “Azam Ahmed and Ben Hubbard are talented journalists who have done the important job of uncovering information that the government does not want public. their people know. Survey reporters are designed to intimidate not only those journalists, but also their sources, which everyone should be concerned about.”