Israeli firm's spyware used to eavesdrop on journalists’ communications: Report
An investigation reveals that an Israeli military-grade spyware has been used to hack dozens of smartphones across the world, whose numbers were listed on a thousands-strong list of designated targets.
The regime licensed its Pegasus spyware to numerous countries that, in turn, used the application to mine information from the phones, revealed the investigation that has been conducted by 17 news organizations, including The Washington Post.
The Post published the findings in a report on Saturday, saying the phones in question belonged to “journalists and activists.”
The hacked phones were on a list of more than 50,000 numbers based in countries known to spy on people, it said.
The list of the numbers was provided for the purpose of the investigation by the Paris-based nonprofit journalism body Hidden Stories and the UK-based human rights organization Amnesty International.
The targets, the investigation showed, included the fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, one of the paper’s former columnists, who used to be an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018 after entering the facility to obtain the papers he needed to marry the Turkish woman.
Bin Salman has acknowledged that the foul play took place under his watch. The CIA and others have also placed the responsibility for the murder squarely on his shoulders, saying it was carried out by a team that had been directly tasked by the Saudi Royal.