Pegasus mass attack on journalists and activists

Pegasus spyware was created by an Israeli spyware company to track terrorist organizations and global cartels.

A research that published On Sunday, it was discovered by many media outlets and news organizations that Pegasus spyware has been used to monitor journalists and activists around the world.

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A team of more than a dozen media outlets from around the world worked together to look at how the Pegasus spyware created by the Israeli company NSO Group, was used to monitor phones belonging to journalists, business executives and human rights activists.

The investigation uncovered spyware on a phone belonging to Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was assassinated in 2018 by the Saudi government for his work. The report also found that Khashoggi's wife, Hanan Elatr, was the target of the spyware, but investigators could not confirm if her phone was infected.

A forensic analysis found that the spyware was used in attempts to track 37 smartphones belonging to journalists and activists. The numbers belonging to these phones were found in a list leaked to the human rights organization Amnesty International and the non-profit Hidden Stories based in Paris.

The leaked list contained more than 50.000 telephone numbers in countries that regularly conduct urban surveillance and are known to be NSO Group customers. The forensic analysis was performed by Amnesty International's security laboratory.

NSO Group Pegasus spy software has a fairly advanced technology. Sending text messages that contain a link to a target can infect the device if the target clicks on the link. The attacker then has unrestricted access to his target device as he can read from emails and text messages that are stored, until he turns on the camera and microphone. The spyware then transmits the data from the compromised phone to the attacker.

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