Private Israeli malware used to spy on journalists, activists

Published July 19, 2021
The use of the software, called Pegasus and developed by Israel’s NSO group, was reported on by the <em>Washington Post</em>, the <em>Guardian</em>, <em>Le Monde</em> and other news outlets who collaborated on an investigation into a data leak. — AFP/File
The use of the software, called Pegasus and developed by Israel’s NSO group, was reported on by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and other news outlets who collaborated on an investigation into a data leak. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Activists, journalists and politicians around the world have been spied on using cellphone malware developed by a private Israeli firm, reports said on Sunday, igniting fears of widespread privacy and rights abuses.

The use of the software, called Pegasus and developed by Israel’s NSO group, was reported on by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and other news outlets who collaborated on an investigation into a data leak. The leak was of a list of up to 50,000 phone numbers believed to have been identified as people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016, the reports said.

Not all of those numbers were subsequently hacked, and the news outlets with acccess to the leak said more details about those who were compromised would be released in coming days.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2021

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