A one-time employee of NSO Group, the Israeli cyber espionage firm famous for developing Pegasus spy software for mobile devices, has reportedly been indicted on charges of stealing company secrets and attempting to sell them on the dark web, multiple news outlets [1, 2, 3] are reporting.
The Cyber Division of Israel’s State Attorney’s Office reportedly filed the indictment last week in Tel Aviv District Court, following the 38-year-old unnamed defendant’s arrest on June 5. According to the Times of Israel, the Justice Ministry said in a statement that charges include trying to damage property in a way that would harm national security, theft by an employee, activities to market defense material without a permit, and obstruction and interfering with computer material.
Authorities allege that the suspect tried, but ultimately failed, to sell both NSO Group’s proprietary software and information for $50 million, while he was still an employee there, but shortly after learning he was to be fired.
NSO Group itself has courted controversy for selling its technologies to governments, allowing them to spy on individuals’ phones. For that reason, Israel’s Ministry of Security must approve any transaction the company wishes to complete, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The Post further reports that the State Attorney’s Office has stated that “the accused committed these crimes out of greed, despite knowing, even if he shut his eyes from seeing it, that his crimes might damage state security and lead to the collapse of a firm employing 500 workers.”