(WORLDWIDE) Pegasus Report: Rights activists, journalists and lawyers around the world have been targeted with phone malware sold to authoritarian governments by an Israeli surveillance firm, media reports say #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.20: They are on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people believed to be of interest to clients of the company, NSO Group, leaked to major news outlets.

#AceDailyNews says Pegasus Spyware sold to governments that ‘targets activists’ according to AFP sold to Israeli surveillance firm media reports and it was not clear where the list came from – or how many phones had actually been hacked as NSO denies any wrongdoing by leaking to major news outlets….

It says the software is intended for use against criminals and terrorists and is made available only to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies from countries with good human rights records.

It said the original investigation which led to the reports, by Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International, was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”.

The allegations about use of the software, known as Pegasus, were carried on Sunday by the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and 14 other media organisations around the world.

Pegasus infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras. 

What do we know about the people targeted?

The numbers on the list were unattributed, but media outlets working on the investigation said they had identified more than 1,000 people spanning over 50 countries. 

Among them are politicians and heads of state, business executives, activists, and several Arab royal family members. More than 180 journalists were also found to be on the list, from organisations including CNN, the New York Times and Al Jazeera.

Many of the numbers were clustered in 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to the reports. 

When contacted by the outlets involved in the investigation, spokespeople for these countries either denied that Pegasus was used or denied that they had abused their powers of surveillance.

It was not clear how many of the devices on the list had actually been targeted, but forensic analysis of 37 of the phones showed there had been “attempted and successful” hacks, the Washington Post reported.

This included people close to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018 and his body dismembered.

The investigation found that spyware was installed on his fiancée’s phone days after his murder, and that his wife’s phone was targeted with spyware between September 2017 and April 2018. 

EPA: Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, was targeted in the days after his murder, the investigation found

The NSO Group said its technology was “not associated in any way with the heinous murder”.

The phone of Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto also appeared twice on the list, including in the month before he was murdered, the investigation found. 

His phone disappeared from the scene of the murder so a forensic examination was not possible, but NSO said that even if his phone was targeted, that did not mean that data collected was connected with his murder. 

More details about who has been targeted are expected to be released in the coming days.

WhatsApp sued NSO in 2019, alleging the company was behind cyber-attacks on 1,400 mobile phones involving Pegasus. At the time, NSO denied any wrongdoing, but the company has been banned from using WhatsApp.

The allegations here are not new but what is new is the scale of the targeting of innocent people that’s allegedly taking place. Nearly 200 reporters from 21 countries have their phone numbers on this list and more names of high-profile public figures are expected to be revealed.There are plenty of unknowns in these allegations – including where the list comes from and how many of the phone numbers were actively targeted with spyware.

NSO Group have once again come out swinging and deny all accusations but it’s a blow for the company that is actively trying to reform its reputation.Only two weeks ago they released their first “transparency report” detailing human right policies and pledges. Amnesty International brushed the 32-page document off as a “sales brochure”.These latest allegations will do further damage to its image, but they won’t hurt the company financially: There are very few private companies able to produce the sort of invasive spy tools that NSO sells, and clearly the largely unregulated market for the software is booming.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: July.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#activists, #israeli, #malware, #pegasus, #spyware

(WORLDWIDE) Spyware Pegasus Report: New investigation shows global human rights harm of NSO Group’s spyware and targeting of activists & journalists #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.08: NSO Group is the worst of the worst in selling digital burglary tools to players who they are fully aware actively and aggressively violate the human rights of dissidents, opposition figures, and journalists.Edward Snowden, President of Freedom of the Press Foundation.

#AceDailyNews reports that Edward Snowden has narrated an accompanying video series which tell the stories of human rights activists and journalists targeted by Pegasus. The interactive platform also includes sound design by composer Brian Eno. A film about the project by award-winning director Laura Poitras will premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival later this month.

A new interactive online platform by Forensic Architecture, supported by Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab, maps for the first time the global spread of the notorious spyware Pegasus, made by cyber-surveillance company NSO Group.

An image of the interactive platform.

3 July 2021, 20:00 UTC

‘Digital Violence: How the NSO Group Enables State Terror’ documents digital attacks against human rights defenders around the world, and shows the connections between the ‘digital violence’ of Pegasus spyware and the real-world harms lawyers, activists, and other civil society figures face.  

NSO Group is a major player in the shadowy surveillance industry. The company’s Pegasus spyware has been used in some of the most insidious digital attacks on human rights defenders. When Pegasus is surreptitiously installed on a person’s phone, an attacker has complete access to a phone’s messages, emails, media, microphone, camera, calls and contacts.

“The investigation reveals the extent to which the digital domain we inhabit has become the new frontier of human rights violations, a site of state surveillance and intimidation that enables physical violations in real space,” said Shourideh C. Molavi, Forensic Architecture’s Researcher-in-Charge. 

“NSO Group is the worst of the worst in selling digital burglary tools to players who they are fully aware actively and aggressively violate the human rights of dissidents, opposition figures, and journalists,” said Edward Snowden, President of Freedom of the Press Foundation.

The online platform is one of the most comprehensive databases on NSO-related activities, with information about export licenses, alleged purchases, digital infections, and the physical targeting of activists after being targeted with spyware, including intimidation, harassment, and detention. The platform also sheds light on the complex corporate structure of NSO Group, based on new research by Amnesty International and partners.An image of the interactive platform.

“For years, NSO Group has shrouded its operations in secrecy and profited from working in the shadows. This platform brings to light the important connections between the use of its spyware and the devastating human rights abuses inflicted upon activists and civil society,” said Danna Ingleton, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech.

Amnesty International’s Security Lab and Citizen Lab have repeatedly exposed the use of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to target hundreds of human rights defenders across the globe: Amnesty International is calling on NSO Group to urgently take steps to ensure that it does not cause or contribute to human rights abuses, and to respond when they do occur. The cyber-surveillance must carry out adequate human rights due diligence and take steps to ensure that human rights defenders and journalists do not continue to become targets of unlawful surveillance.

In October 2019, Amnesty International revealed that Moroccan academic and activist, Maati Monjib’s phone had been infected with Pegasus spyware. He continues to face harassment by the Moroccan authorities for his human rights work. In December 2020, Maati Monjib was arbitrarily detained before being released on parole on 23 March 2021.

Maati Monjib, tells his story in one of the short films, and spoke of the personal toll following the surveillance, “The authorities knew everything I said. I was in danger. Surveillance is very harming for the psychological wellbeing of the victim. My life has changed a lot because of all these pressures.”

Amnesty International is calling for all charges against Maati to be dropped, and the harassment against him and his family by the Moroccan authorities to end.

(Credit STR/AFP via Getty Images)

To find out more visit digitalviolence.orgMaati Monjib pictured upon his release from El Arjate prison near the Moroccan capital Rabat on March 23, 2021:

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.08: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#pegasus, #snowden, #spyware, #worldwide