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Israeli spyware used to target journalists, activists: report | Cybercrime News

According to the Guardian, The Washington Post and 15 other investigations into large-scale data breaches, activists, politicians, and journalists from all over the world-including reporters from Al Jazeera-became sold using the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group The software is reproduced by the target media for monitoring.

According to the Washington Post, a report released on Sunday stated that the “authoritarian government” abused the Pegasus software and “hacked 37 smartphones.”

According to the Guardian, the leaked information contained more than 50,000 numbers believed to be of interest to NSO customers since 2016.

According to the Washington Post, the numbers on the list also belong to the heads of state and prime ministers, members of the Arab royal family, diplomats and politicians, as well as activists and corporate executives.

The list also includes reporters from media organizations around the world, including AFP, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, France 24, Radio Free Europe, Mediapart, National News, Associated Press, Le Monde, Bloomberg, Economics Home, Reuters and Voice of America, the Guardian said.

Sophisticated monitoring

Pegasus Complex surveillance The tool developed by this Israeli company infects the user’s smartphone and steals all the phone’s information, including the name and phone number of each contact, SMS, email, Facebook messages, as well as from Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat and Telegram All of the content.

The list does not identify customers, but the report states that many customers are concentrated in 10 countries-Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Natalia Krapiva, Technical Legal Counsel at Access Now, told Al Jazeera: “The surveillance industry operates in darkness-its products are designed to deceive and evade responsibility.”

“However, we asked ourselves,’How could such a thing happen?’ Spyware companies cannot be trusted to hold themselves accountable. This story, and the recently disclosed abuse of power by Cellebrite and Candiru, is that we urgently need to make these surveillance companies and Another example of public appearances by governments using them.

“The industry has shown that it cannot self-regulate, and the government is hiding behind national security to make excuses for these surveillance abuses. We need regulation, transparency and accountability, and we need them now,” she told Al Jazeera.

‘False report’

Amnesty International and the Paris-based non-profit media organization Forbidden Stories initially had access to the leaks, and then they shared the leaks with media organizations from around the world.

The National Bureau of Statistics had previously promised to monitor the misuse of its software, but firmly denied the so-called “false claims.”

“The National Bureau of Statistics firmly denies the false claims in your report,” it said in a press release issued by the Guardian. “Many of these are unproven theories and seriously doubt the reliability of your sources and the basis of your story.”

According to the company, it has good reason to “believe…these claims…are based on misleading interpretations of leaked data from accessible and publicly available basic information.”

The Citizen Lab reported in December that dozens of reporters on Al Jazeera’s media network in Qatar owned their mobile phones. Communication intercepted Through sophisticated electronic monitoring.

Amnesty International reported in June last year that Moroccan authorities used Pegasus software to insert spyware into Omar Radi’s phone, a journalist convicted of social media posts.

Bilal Kuchay contributed to the report from New Delhi

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