In the wake of the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the NSO Group emphatically denied that its government clients had used its hacking malware to target the journalist or his family.
“I can tell you very clear. We had nothing to do with this horrible murder,” Shalev Hulio, the chief executive of the Israeli surveillance firm, told the US TV news programme 60 Minutes in March 2019. It was six months after Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed in Turkey by assassins dispatched by Saudi Arabia, a client of NSO.
Now a joint investigation by the Guardian and other media, based on leaked data and forensic analysis of phones, has uncovered new evidence that the company’s spyware was used to try and monitor people close to Khashoggi both before and after his death.
In one case, a person in Khashoggi’s inner circle was hacked four days after his murder, according to peer-reviewed forensic analysis of her device. [Continue reading…]