The spies are said to have used the smartphone “Pegasus” software to target world leaders, including three presidents, ten prime ministers and a king.
Pegasus is software capable of breaking into smartphones, allowing to extract messages, photos, emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones. Pegasus is produced by the leading NSO Spyware Development Company in Israel.
The Washington Post reports that governments around the world are now facing allegations that they have used Pegasus malware to track the mobile devices of activists, journalists, executives. corporate executives and politicians.
According to Forbidden Stories, more than 50,000 phone numbers were identified as figures of interest from 2016 to June 2021 of NSO Company customers. In this list, there are mobile phone numbers of many heads of state, prime ministers, members of the Arab royal family, diplomats, politicians, as well as activists and executives. companies, journalists of many media organizations in the world, such as AFP, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New York Times, Al-Jazeera, France 24, AP, Le Monde, Bloomberg, the Economist, Reuters…
Notably, the most searched targets were fourteen major world leaders including three presidents, ten prime ministers and one king.
The Washington Post reported that the heads of state on the list include: three incumbent presidents of France (Mr Emmanuel Macron), Iraq (Mr Barham Salih) and South Africa (Mr Cyril Ramaphosa). The three current prime ministers of Pakistan (Mr Imran Khan), Egypt (Mr Mostafa Madbouly) and Morocco (Mr Saad-Eddine El Othmani).
The seven other former prime ministers include Yemen’s Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, Lebanon’s Saad Hariri, Uganda’s Ruhakana Rugunda, France’s Édouard Philippe, Kazakhstan’s Bakitzhan Sagintayev, Algeria’s Noureddines Bedoui and Charles Michel of Belgium.
In addition, there are also King Mohammed VI of Morocco and many members of the Moroccan Royal Family such as Queen Lalla Salma Bennani, Prince Moulay Hicham Alaoui are also said to be on the list.
On the morning of July 22, French President Emmanuel Macron convened a national security meeting to discuss Pegasus spyware after it emerged that the software was used in France.
Following France, the governments of Algeria, Morocco and Hungary also announced that they would open an investigation to clarify the truth of the incident. Meanwhile, Mediapart and the weekly Le Canard Enchainé – two French media agencies that are direct victims of the incident – announced they would sue in Paris after investigations confirmed that the phones of some of their journalists had been hacked. tracked.
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