Massive Global Pegasus Spyware Campaign Covertly Stalked Politicians, Activists, Journalists
Pegasus is a malware used to infect both iPhones and Androids to, according to NSO Group’s website, “detect and prevent terrorism and crime.” It can be used to steal messages, photos, emails, calls, and secretly record users. However, a recent leak of over 50,000 phone numbers has been identified as a list of people of interest to clients of the NSO Group, suggesting potential abuse of NSO Group’s software.
It is also noted that at least ten government believed to be NSO Group customers have been entering data into the leaked system. These countries include “Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” but that list could potentially grow.
Further, there is also analysis from Amnesty’s Security Lab that suggests there is a correlation between numbers being entered into the database and Pegasus activity, as little a moments later. The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto provided peer-review of this analysis and found that it was sound as well.
Whether or not any of these 50,000 people on the list were actually hacked using the Pegasus product still raises concerns nonetheless. The fact that pro-democracy and human rights activists alongside journalists can be targeted en masse spells massive issues worldwide. Also, this is simply a massive privacy breach for people worldwide who are not criminals or terrorists, of whom NSO suggests its software is used. Hopefully, we will gain more clarity on the situation as it develops, so stay tuned to HotHardware for updates.