Israeli spyware used to target journalists, activists: report | Cybercrime News
According to The Guardian, The Washington Post and 15 other media.
According to the Washington Post, a report released on Sunday stated that the “authoritarian government” abused the Pegasus software and “hacked 37 smartphones.”
According to the Guardian, the leak contained more than 50,000 digital lists of interest to NSO customers since 2016.
However, it stated that mentioning phone numbers in the leaked data does not necessarily mean that these devices were hacked.
The Washington Post reported that the number of people on the list also includes heads of state and prime ministers, members of the Arab royal family, diplomats and politicians, as well as activists and business executives.
The list also includes journalists from media organizations around the world, including AFP, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, France 24, Radio Free Europe, Mediapart, National News, Associated Press, Le Monde, Bloomberg, Economics Home, Reuters and Voice of America, the Guardian said.
According to the Washington Post, according to the forensic analysis of the Amnesty International Security Laboratory, two women who were closely related to the killed Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi were targeted by Pegasus spyware. According to reports, a few days after Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, his mobile phone was infected with malware.
Pegasus Complex surveillance The tool developed by this Israeli company infects the user’s smartphone and steals all the phone’s information, including the name and phone number of each contact, SMS, email, Facebook messages, as well as from Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat and Telegram All of the content.
“Compared to anything we’ve seen before, the scale is amazing,” Bill Marzak, a researcher at the Citizen Lab of the Cyberspace Research Organization, told Al Jazeera. He pointed out that a previous exposure exposed about 1,400 numbers of hacker attacks.
The latest list does not identify customers, but the report states that many customers are concentrated in 10 countries-Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Natalia Krapiva, Technical Legal Counsel for Access Now, told Al Jazeera: “The surveillance industry operates under a dark cloud-its products are designed to deceive and evade responsibility.”
“However, we asked ourselves,’How can such a thing happen?’ Spyware companies simply can’t believe that they will take responsibility. This story, together with the recently revealed abuse of power by Cellebrite and Candiru, is that we urgently need to let these surveillance companies and use them Another example of the government’s disclosure.
“The industry has shown that it cannot self-regulate, and the government is hiding behind national security to make excuses for these surveillance abuses. We need regulation, transparency and accountability, and we need them now,” she told Al Jazeera.
Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, a non-profit media organization based in Paris, initially had access to the leaks, and then they shared the leaks with media organizations from around the world.
— Suchitra Vijayan (@suchitrav) July 18, 2021
The National Bureau of Statistics had previously promised to supervise the abuse of its software, but firmly denied the so-called “false claims.”
“The National Bureau of Statistics firmly denies the false claims in your report,” it said in a press release issued by the Guardian. “Many of these are unproven theories and seriously doubt the reliability of your sources and the basis of your story.”
According to the company, it has good reason to “believe…these claims…are based on misleading interpretations of leaked data from accessible and publicly available basic information.”
The Citizen Lab reported in December that dozens of journalists on the Al Jazeera media network in Qatar owned their mobile phones. Communication intercepted Through sophisticated electronic monitoring.
Amnesty International reported in June last year that Moroccan authorities used Pegasus software to insert spyware into Omar Radi’s mobile phone, a journalist convicted of social media posts.
Marczak said the problem is beyond the scope of a company.
“This is not just a bad apple,” he said. “This is a systemic problem for the entire industry.
Bilal Kuchay contributed to the report from New Delhi