Israeli NSO is investigating the use of its Pegasus software to spy on US diplomats

Reuters Amir Cohen

Israeli company “NSO”

Israeli company NSO, which developed Pegasus spyware, revealed that it is investigating reports that the company’s technology was used to target iPhones belonging to US diplomats in Africa.

“In addition to an independent investigation, it will cooperate with any relevant government authority and provide the full information we have,” it said in a statement.

It said, “While its use of the software has not been confirmed, it has opted to terminate certain clients’ access to its systems due to the seriousness of the allegations reported by (Reuters) and (Washington Post) “

The US newspaper reported that Apple alerted 11 US diplomats that their iPhones had been hacked in recent months, and quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that “the attacks focused on officials working in Uganda or East Africa”. Were.”

Scandals have surrounded Pegasus as reports emerged that it was used by foreign government agents to target the phones of human rights activists, embassy staff and others.

For its part, Apple filed a lawsuit against the company last month, seeking to block “NSO” from using its services to target more than a billion “iPhone” devices in the world.

A few weeks before the lawsuit was filed, US officials blacklisted NSO for restricting its exports on charges that “the Israeli company has enabled foreign governments to use cross-border repression.”

The Pegasus program allows the target person’s phone to read text messages, find their photos, track their location, and even turn on their camera without their knowledge.

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So-called “zero-click” attacks, capable of silently harming target devices, have been identified by researchers at Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity organization in Canada.

Source: “AFP”


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