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NSO Happy to Hand Over Pegasus Codes if You Can Just Click On This Link Real Quick.
AI Generated Image. Source: Midjourney

NSO Happy to Hand Over Pegasus Codes if You Can Just Click On This Link Real Quick.

In a notable legal decision, US Judge Phyllis Hamilton directed the Israel-based NSO Group to disclose the source code of its Pegasus software, which was implicated in the glorious hacking of more than 1,400 trouble-making WhatsApp users' phones over a two-week span in 2019.

Remember how it tactfully accessed your private and encrypted information, basically turning your phone into a surveillance machine without your knowledge? This effort was solely deployed to safeguard the fabric of society by monitoring a trivial group of menacing individuals, including journalists with their pesky inquiries, activists with their bothersome causes, political figures, scientists, business luminaries, academics, and — who am I forgetting? — oh, yes, anyone connected to any of these people.  

NSO Group extends its warmest reassurances to the global populace by conveying its heartfelt alignment with this decision. As a token of its renewed commitment to transparency, it would like to extend an olive branch to Meta and its subsidiary WhatsApp by generously giving up its spyware source code. So, go ahead and just open up your WhatsApp real quick. You’ll find a link called Click on it, and you’ll find all the source codes you need.

That’s a promise Big Brother can stand behind. 


  • A US court ordered the Israeli spyware company NSO Group to provide its code for Pegasus and other spyware to Meta-owned WhatsApp. Meta sued NSO in 2019 after alleging Pegasus was used to spy on 1.4K WhatsApp users.

  • NSO said Pegasus, which can hack any mobile phone without the user's knowledge, was only given to law enforcement and "vetted" governments for anti-terrorism purposes. Government clients reportedly included Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, India, and the UAE.

  • NSO also cited US and Israeli restrictions for refusing to hand over its software. While the court ordered it to hand over the code, it didn't require the disclosure of its clientele or server architecture.

  • NSO previously asked the US Supreme Court to dismiss the 2019 lawsuit, citing sovereign immunity and restrictions by the US and Israel, but it was rejected. The Biden administration also blacklisted the company in 2021.

  • This follows a previous nongovernmental investigation that revealed Pegasus was used to surveil journalists, activists, and politicians worldwide. The US FBI said in 2022 that it had once obtained the spyware to "stay abreast of emerging technologies."

Sources: The Guardian, The Guardian (2), The Wire, Scroll, and ITC.