You're About to Get Hacked, so Deal With It

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 01, 2019 2:17 PM

It's one thing when a teenager hacks your computer; it's another when an international spy company does it.

NSO Group is that kind of company, and it is not kid's stuff. NSO has sold hacking tools to dictators to spy on dissenters and human rights activists around the world. But actually, it is not all bad.

In Mexico, for example, NSO operatives helped spy on people with information about drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. That included some lawyers, and they were not all bad either.

Not All Bad

Shalev Hulio, the founder of NSO, told 60 Minutes that they had to intercept communications with a journalist, a lawyer, and an actress to catch El Chapo. He didn't name names, and didn't say they were criminal suspects.

"But if they are in touch with a drug lord and in order to catch them, you need to intercept them, that's a decision an intelligence agency should get," he said.

The interview was a heads-up to lawyers everywhere that they can get hacked, too. NSO has been doing it for years. It is most infamous for selling cyberweapons like Pegasus spyware. Pegasus has been deployed in at least 45 countries, and it can record conversations, steal private messages, and export photos.

Justify the Means

According to Hulio, the ends justify the means. "I only say that we are selling Pegasus to prevent crime and terror," Hulio says.

NSO also has a reputation for hacking iPhones. Here's how to check your iPhone for the spyware.

Do that. Or ask a nerdy teenager to do it for you.

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