The Commerce Department added NSO Group and other foreign companies located in Israel, Russia and Singapore to their Entity List on Wednesday, according to a press release from the Department.
The companies — NSO Group, Candiru, Positive Technologies and Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD — were added to the Bureau of Industry and Security's Entity List for supplying spyware and trafficking cyber tools.
NSO Group, which is based in Israel, developed the infamous Pegasus software, which hacked the phones of journalists, human rights activists and business executives globally, as investigated by The Washington Post earlier this year. The spyware represents the scale and scope of harm caused by virtually unregulated technologies like spyware.
The Entity List is intended to restrict the sale or transfer of items that can pose these sorts of risks to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. The Department stated that these actions are intended to "stem the proliferation of digital tools used for repression."