The Pegasus spy software has been found on the phones of three French journalists. The French cybersecurity agency Anssi came to this conclusion after a thorough investigation, the Guardian reports. Earlier it was announced that at least 189 journalists are being monitored by the Pegasus spyware. This was the first time an independent party investigated Pegasus spyware.
It was previously announced that in addition to world leaders, journalists were also monitored with the Pegasus software. Now the French researchers have come up with concrete examples. For example, they discovered the software with a senior employee of the television channel France 24. The director and an investigative journalist at the Mediapart website also had the software on their phones.
These discoveries indicate that the French journalists were being watched by customers of the Israeli company NSO Group. It is not known which customers these were and for what reason, she spied on the journalists.
The public prosecutor in Paris has been informed of the findings and will continue to investigate a possible hack.
The NSO Group that sells the spy software has been criticized for weeks. In this way, they would offer governments and intelligence services the opportunity to easily keep an eye on politicians, human rights activists, and journalists. The company itself says it only wants to support the fight against terrorism and crime.
The Pegasus spyware ends up on the phones through vulnerabilities in popular apps or because a malicious link has been clicked. Then the spyware offers the possibility to see everything from text messages to location data. The spyware even allows remote control of the microphone and camera and makes it easy to listen in on conversations.
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