NSO Group which is facing international criticism after reporters obtained a list of alleged potential targets for spyware has rejected allegations the list had been hacked from its Cyprus servers.
A company spokesman told BBC News: “Firstly, we don’t have servers in Cyprus. And secondly, we don’t have any data of our customers in our possession.”
Investigations have begun as the list of 50,000 phone numbers contained a small number of hacked phones.
Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.
The Israeli company says its software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists and made available to only military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies from countries with good human-rights records.
But a consortium of news organisations, led by French media outlet Forbidden Stories, has published dozens of stories based around the list, including allegations French President Emmanuel Macron’s number was on it and may have been targeted.