Israeli police on Tuesday admitted to using the Pegasus spyware to hack the phones of Israeli citizens.
In a statement, the police said it found evidence on the unauthorized use of sophisticated spyware by its own investigators to snoop on citizens' phones.
The statement said during a secondary investigation, "additional findings were discovered that change the state of affairs in certain aspects."
On Tuesday, outgoing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ordered the police to take immediate steps to prevent the possibility of bypassing authorization steps and to halt any such activities in the future.
He also announced the formation of an inquiry team to look into the spying reports.
On Jan. 18, the Israeli Calcalist website said Israeli police used the Pegasus hacking program against Israeli citizens without court authorization.
The list of hacked Israelis included leaders of protests against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and other politicians.
The police responded to the accusations by saying that its preliminary internal investigation had found no evidence of misuse of the Pegasus spyware.
Following the spying reports, Asher Levy, the head of NSO, the Israeli spyware company that produces the Pegasus, resigned from his post. He, however, claimed that his resignation was not linked to the spying reports.
The Pegasus spyware allows its operators to hack mobiles by exploiting security vulnerabilities in the Android and iPhone mobile operating systems.
The spyware caused worldwide scandals after the discovery of spying cases against politicians, government officials, journalists and activists in different countries.