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Spyware used against journalists |  SVT News

Spyware used against journalists | SVT News

Pegasus is a spyware program developed by the Israeli monitoring company NSO. According to NSO, its customers pledge to use technology only in the fight against terrorism or serious crime.

But a leak shows that agents – including intelligence services in countries such as Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Hungary – have estimated that nearly 50,000 phone numbers of activists, journalists and politicians, among others, would be interesting to monitor.

Not all of these are hacked. But forensic analyzes by Amnesty International’s security department for human rights show traces of the Israeli spyware program on many of the victims’ phones.

unusual attack

Pegasus sneaks into cell phones without the recipient having to click anything and can provide access to emails, messages and photos as well as secretly record calls and activate the microphone.

It’s not new that malware is spreading, but we see quite a few of these types of vulnerabilities on iOS (Apple’s operating system, editor’s note). David Jacoby says that’s what makes it special.

The international media is weak

Amnesty International and the non-profit media organization Forbidden Stories came across the list of phone numbers, then shared the leaked material with the media that participated in the review.

Among those suspected of wanting to spy on them are journalists for international news agencies, major newspapers, television and radio channels. Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Al Jazeera, France 24 and El Pais among others. The list includes two women who were close to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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The spyware does not require the recipient to click anything – here David Jacoby explains how a “zero click” attack works. picture: Stories