NSO Group owners, who were in the news for selling Pegasus spyware worldwide to governments, are reportedly trying to close down their scandal-ridden section and to buy the company as a whole.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the NSO Group’s owners were in talks for the refinancing and potential outright sale of the business, which is in danger of defaulting on its debts, citing sources familiar with the matter.
There are two American funds who have considered buying Pegasus. According to one source, $200 million of fresh capital might be available for the development of defensive cybersecurity services using technology from Pegasus. It is also reported that an American buyer could look to develop the company’s drone offerings.
Bloomberg was also told that the Israeli firm was considering shutting down its highly controversial Pegasus unit, which accounts for half of the company’s income.
Pegasus was discovered earlier in the year by Forbidden Stories (a Paris-based media non-profit), working with Amnesty International, 17 media organisations, and Forbidden Stories.
As many as 50k phones were illegally accessed by the Israeli malware. Potential clients could be found in Azerbaijan (Bahrain), India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
NSO was included on the US government blacklist last October. Its financial woes have only worsened. It must repay $450 million of its debt. Last month, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the firm’s credit rating, saying it was at an increased risk of defaulting on its loans.