The Israeli Ministry of Défense has reduced the number of countries that Israeli companies can export cyber tools to from 102 to 37, Calcalist, a local business paper, reports.
The change is probably a result of the fallout from Israeli company NSO Group seemingly allowing authoritarian regimes to use its Pegasus spyware.
The updated list of countries Israeli companies can sell cyber tools to includes Western European countries, the US, & Canada.
The change comes after the US sanctioned NSO Group for ’malicious cyber activities.’ According to the US Department of Commerce, NSO Group ‘developed & supplied spyware to foreign governments.’
In July, the Pegasus Project revealed that the spyware, made & licensed by NSO Group, had been used in hacks of smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials, & human rights activists.
The spyware acts through iPhone & Android mobile devices & lets it access messages, emails, photos, or even secretly record calls & activate microphones.
Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group & its parent company OSY Technologies for allegedly targeting US Apple users with its Pegasus spyware.
The updated list will not include countries like Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, or the United Arab Emirates. Researchers believe all of those countries have used Israeli-made tools to conduct cyber operations.
States Calcalist, the ban on cyber exports will impact the Israeli cyber-security sector, generating some $10b in yearly revenue. It is estimated that 10% of all cyber sales consist of offensive cyber tools, like Pegasus software.
The updated list includes Austria, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Belgium, the UK, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Greece, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Czech Republic, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, United States, & Canada.