NSO Group wanted access to global mobile network via telecom company

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NSO Group, an Israeli spyware developer, is said to have approached an American telecom company for access to global mobile networks. In return, they would have offered “bags of money”. This reports The Washington Post. A whistleblower described the incident in confidential disclosures to the Justice Department, which The Washington Post has seen.

Bags of money for information

The whistleblower, Gary Miller, is a former vice president at the US telecom company in question: Mobileum. The company provides security services to mobile networks around the world. According to Miller, NSO Group’s offer came during an August 2017 conference call between NSO Group officials and Mobileum representatives.

The NSO officials were specifically looking for access to the SS7 network. This is a network that helps mobile companies with users around the world to route their calls and services. According to the whistleblower, the officials wanted to use SS7 to enable their customers to tap mobile phones to investigate crimes. In exchange for access to the SS7 network, NSO Group offered Mobileum “bags of cash,” according to whistleblower Miller.

Miller already approached the FBI in 2017 but received no response. Last year, he filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice. Miller also approached Democrat Ted Lieu, a member of the House of Representatives, who then shared the news with journalists. According to Lieu, with access to the SS7 network, NSO could “spy a large number of cell phones in the United States and other countries.”

Both parties deny

Both Mobileum and NSO Group deny that an offer was ever made. Mobileum

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