NSO Group clears out major chunk of its staff, CEO quits

Israeli spyware firm NSO Group, which has been facing heavy criticism as of late for providing its Pegasus spyware to illegal organizations, is seeing some major staffing changes as of late.

The logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group is seen at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel July 22, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
The logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group is seen at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel July 22, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

A source at Israeli spyware firm NSO Group confirmed on Sunday that around 100 employees will be let go as part of the firm's reorganization as CEO Shalev Hulio steps down.

The company said that Chief Operating Officer Yaron Shohat has been appointed to oversee the firm's reorganization until a successor is named.

"NSO will ensure that the company's groundbreaking technologies are used for rightful and worthy purposes."

Yaron Shohat

The surveillance firm, which makes Pegasus software, has been contending with legal action after allegations that its tools were misused by governments and other agencies to hack mobile phones. 

Uses for NSO's tech

An aerial view shows the logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel, July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)An aerial view shows the logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel, July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

NSO has said its technology is intended to help catch terrorists, pedophiles and hardened criminals and is sold to "vetted and legitimate" government clients, although it keeps its client list confidential.

"The company’s products remain in high demand with governments and law enforcement agencies because of its cutting-edge technology and proven ability to assist these customers in fighting crime and terror," Shohat said in a statement.

"NSO will ensure that the company's groundbreaking technologies are used for rightful and worthy purposes," he added.