November 12, 2018 / 8:40 AM / 10 months ago

Israeli cyber firm NSO in talks to buy Fifth Dimension: reports

FILE PHOTO: Israeli military chief Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz attends a news conference in Tel Aviv July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Nir Elias

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group is in talks to buy Fifth Dimension, a start-up chaired by former Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Fifth Dimension has developed technology to assist police investigators in solving cases.

Its advisory board includes Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy director of the Mossad spy agency.

TheMarker financial daily cited unnamed sources as saying NSO is studying a possible acquisition to help improve its reputation by linking up with leading Israeli security figures.

NSO declined to comment on the reports. Officials at Fifth Dimension were not available for immediate comment.

NSO is best known as a supplier of mobile surveillance tools to governments and law enforcement agencies. It was in the spotlight last year amid allegations that the Mexican government had used its Pegasus mobile spyware to target private citizens.

Last year Blackstone Group pulled out of discussions to buy part of NSO after digital privacy activists protested against the deal.

Software developed by NSO helped thwart a suspected Iranian terror attack in Denmark, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by Jason Neely

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