NSO Group spyware reportedly targeted journalists and activists in dozens of countries

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A major investigation by 17 major international news organizations found that Israeli cyber-company NSO Group had sold hacking software used to target journalists and activists in dozens of countries.

The investigation was carried out by the Pegasus Project, formed by Forbidden Stories, a French nonprofit journalism organization and Amnesty International, which had access to more than 50,000 mobile phone numbers that are believed to be among those targeted by customers. using software from the NSO group. The reports were carried out by The Washington Post, Le Monde, Die Zeit, The Guardian, Haaretz, PBS Frontline and numerous other news outlets.

The reports focused on Pegasus, spyware sold by NSO which it says is used by dozens of government clients, many in authoritarian states. Analysis of the leaked data revealed that 10 countries are believed to be NSO clients – Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India and the United Arab Emirates.

In a press release from his lawyers cited by the Guardian, NSO rejects “false allegations” about the activities of its customers, but says it “will continue to investigate all credible allegations of abuse and take appropriate action.”

The company also calls the 50,000 figure “an exaggeration” and says that just because a phone number was on the list didn’t mean it was being targeted by Pegasus.

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