US & World

Macron among the 14 heads of state on the potential spyware list | Business

Boston (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron leads a list of 14 current or former heads of state who may have been targeted for hacking by clients of the infamous Israeli spyware company NSO Group. Amnesty said Tuesday.

“Unprecedented revelation should cool the spine of world leaders,” Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Caramard said in a statement.

Potential targets found in the list of 50,000 phone numbers leaked to Amnesty International and Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories include Pakistan’s President Imran Khan, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, and Iraq’s Balham. Includes sari.The current three prime ministers and King of Morocco Mohamed VI The Washington Post reported on the list.

The post said no head of state would offer their smartphones for forensic testing that might have detected if they were infected with NSO’s military-grade Pegasus spyware. The 37 phones identified in the investigation are reported to have been compromised or show signs of an attempted infection.

The Post and 16 other members of the Global Media Consortium have been granted access to the leaked list. Another member, the French daily Le Monde, has determined that 15 members of the French government may have been one of Macron’s potential targets in 2019.

Following the first report by consortium members on Sunday, the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating allegations of widespread use of NSO’s military-grade Pegasus spyware targeting journalists, human rights activists and politicians in multiple countries. Stated.

Also on Sunday, Amnesty International released Forensic analysis of alleged targeting This indicates that Amazon Web Services is hosting your NSO infrastructure. In response, Amazon said it had shut down its NSO account, which was “confirmed to support reported hacking activities.” Amazon said the account violated the Terms of Service.

Another US company identified by Amnesty as hosting the NSO server was Digital Ocean. When contacted by the Associated Press, Digital Ocean did not confirm or deny whether such a server was identified or shut down.

“All the infrastructure outlined in Amnesty International’s report is no longer in DigitalOcean,” he detailed in an email statement Tuesday.

The consortium’s findings have significantly expanded the scope of abuse allegedly involving the NSO Group since 2016. This includes monitoring friends and relatives of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018. An urgent need to regulate the worldwide sale of commercial hacking tools.

Lemond said the phone numbers of Macron and then government members were chosen from among the thousands allegedly chosen by NSO clients for potential surveillance. According to Le Monde, in this case the client was an unidentified Moroccan security service.

Members of the consortium said they were able to associate more than 1,000 numbers in the 50 countries on the list with individuals, including more than 600 politicians, government officials and 189 journalists. Mexico and the Middle East have the largest shares, and Saudi Arabia is reported to be one of the NSO clients.

The list also included phone numbers from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Morocco and Rwanda, as well as several from the Arab royal family, the consortium reported.

Officials at Macron’s office said authorities would investigate Le Monde’s report and if the target was proven, it would be “very serious.”

Le Monde quoted the NSO that the French president had never been targeted by a customer.

The NSO Group denies maintaining a “list of potential, past, or existing targets.” It called the forbidden story report “full of false assumptions and unsubstantiated theories.”

The cause of the leak and its authentication method have not been clarified. Although the data did not attempt to hack the device just because it contained a phone number, the consortium said it was confident that the data would represent a potential target for NSO government clients. I did.

The Paris Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that it had begun investigating a number of potential allegations, including privacy breaches, illegal use of data and illegal sale of spyware.

As is common in French law, the investigation does not appoint a suspect, but it aims to ultimately determine who will be sent to trial. It was prompted by legal complaints by two journalists and the French research website Mediapart.

Several proceedings have been filed against the NSO Group by alleged victims, including Facebook, over allegations of hacking WhatsApp applications by Israeli companies.


Angela Charlton of Paris and Alan Sadderman of Richmond, Virginia contributed to the report.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Macron among the 14 heads of state on the potential spyware list | Business

Source link Macron among the 14 heads of state on the potential spyware list | Business

Related Articles

Back to top button