Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Military-grade spyware reportedly found on the phones of journalists and activists

Nicole Kozuma / CNET

Military-grade spyware approved by an Israeli company was used in attempts and successes in hacking smartphones owned by journalists and human rights activists. Research According to The Washington Post and 16 media partners.

According to a survey, 37 mobile phones, including two women’s mobile phones near the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, came from the Israeli company NSO Group to track terrorists and criminals. Attacked with government-approved spyware. The phone was included in a list of over 50,000 numbers concentrated in countries known to monitor citizens.

This list was shared with the press by Forbidden Stories, a non-profit journalism organization based in Paris, and Amnesty International, a human rights group. A study called the Pegasus Project included a forensic analysis of the telephone. The numbers on the list are unknown, but investigators were able to identify more than 1,000 in more than 50 countries.

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Caramard said in a statement, “The Pegasus Joint Project is a repressive attempt to silence journalists, attack activists, challenge and endanger countless lives. It reveals how NSO spyware is the weapon of choice for the government. “

“The company claims that spyware is only used for legitimate criminal and terrorist investigations, but it’s clear that the technology is driving systemic abuse,” Caramard said. ..

According to a survey, Amnesty International analyzed 67 suspected targeted phones, of which 23 were found to be infected, and 14 showed evidence of an attempted intrusion.

The list dating back to 2016 includes reporters working abroad on several major news organizations, including CNN, Associated Press, Voice of America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and Lemond. In France, London’s Financial Times, Qatar’s Al Jazeera.

The head of state and the prime minister were allegedly on the list.

The NSO Group said the Forbidden Stories report contained “false accusations” and “misleading accusations.”

“The forbidden narrative reports are full of false assumptions and unsubstantiated theories that raise serious questions about the reliability and interests of sources,” a spokesman for the NSO Group said in a statement. “‘Unconfirmed sources’ seem to provide information that is far from reality, with no factual basis.”

The NSO Group is involved in other hacks, including previous reports and proceedings. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hacked reported Saudi dissidents sued the company in 2018 on suspicion of its role in device hacking Belonging to journalist KhashoggiThat year, he was killed at the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.

Journalists and activists From Mexico and Qatar He also sued the company for providing tools for hacking devices. A New York Times journalist writing about Saudi Arabian dissidents received the link, according to a January Citizen Lab report. Includes NSO Group hacking tools On his phone in 2018.

Military-grade spyware reportedly found on the phones of journalists and activists

Source link Military-grade spyware reportedly found on the phones of journalists and activists


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