Revelations by the consortium of journalists Forbidden Stories show that, in line with its previous cases, the Israeli company NSO has allowed some 40 states to spy on its population.
The allegations about the use of the software, known as Pegasus, were picked up on Sunday by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and 14 other media organizations around the world.
Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices, allowing operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.
It’s a startup that has always preferred darkness to light. On July 18, however, NSO Group found itself once again in the spotlight, suspected of having allowed some 40 states to violate human rights with its spyware, Pegasus.
According to media reports, human rights activists, journalists and lawyers around the world have been targeted by phone malware sold to authoritarian governments by an Israeli surveillance company.
These individuals are on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people of interest to the company’s clients, NSO Group, which has been leaked to major news outlets.
She said the initial investigation that led to the reports, conducted by the Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International, was “full of erroneous assumptions and unsubstantiated theories.”
The media said it had identified more than 1,000 people in more than 50 countries whose numbers appeared on a list that included politicians and heads of state, business leaders, activists and several members of the Arab royal family. More than 180 journalists from organizations such as CNN, the New York Times and Al Jazeera were also on the list.