Israeli company NSO Group charges governments a hefty fee for use of its surveillance tool Pegasus, according to a report by The New York Times.
The report, published in 2016, is based on a commercial proposal accessed by the publication.
NSO charges a flat $500,000 (around Rs 3.7 crore) fee for installing Pegasus. It charges government agencies $650,000 (Rs 4.8 crore) to spy on 10 iPhones; $650,000 for 10 Android users; $500,000 for five BlackBerry users; or $300,000 for five Symbian users, the report said.
One hundred additional targets will cost $800,000 (around Rs 5.9 crore), 50 extra targets cost $500,000, 20 extra will cost $250,000 (Rs 1.8 crore) and 10 extra costs $150,000 (Rs 1.1 crore).
The group also charges an annual system maintenance fee of 17 percent of the total price every year thereafter, according to the reported.
Also read: Pegasus Project | Phones linked to top Congress-JDS leaders in Karnataka were 'potential targets' in 2019, says report
The steep price gives NSO's clients unlimited access to a target's mobile devices, the report said quoting the commercial proposal.
Over the past few days, news reports by The Wire, The Washington Post and other news organisations have suggested that the numbers of many opposition members, journalists, and activists were on a database that made them possible targets for surveillance.
The news reports could not ascertain if the hacking actually took place. Following the news, NSO said it sells the Pegasus spyware only to vetted governments.
Also read - France's Macron targeted in project Pegasus spyware case: Report
In India, phone numbers linked to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, political strategist Prashant Kishor, the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka (before it collapsed in 2019) and 40 journalists are among those found on the database.
Phone numbers linked to at least 14 heads of states and governments, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa were also targeted for hacking.