NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware that is expected to monitor its subject by stealth has blown its cover due to the investigation carried out by 17 media houses and discovered NSO attempted to hack journalists and human rights activists. The NSO aimed for their smartphones — up to 37 different devices were on the list of NSO surveillance programs, Techbooky reports.
The NSO has reportedly worked for several governments whereby the mobile number they had on surveillance was to ensure its spyware detects potential terrorism or national threat. Still, note that the Paris journalism nonprofit Hidden Stories and human rights group Amnesty International discovered the leaked numbers owned by its reporters and activists.
As expected of typical spyware, Pegasus can remotely stalk its subject by stealth, accessing all the data on your device. For context, NSO’s spyware can either activate your device camera or microphone to eavesdrop on your conversations without your consent.
The NSO Group’s representative revealed the allegations are based on assumptions which proves the source of the information is not legitimate. “After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report.” While NSO challenged the source that provided this information, they also intended to file a lawsuit to preserve their reputation because “these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality.”
In line with the NSO code of conduct, they have reportedly participated in several unscrupulous acts. According to the Guardian’s report, these journalists and activists have been monitored by Pegasus software since 2016 — these reporters work for top-notch media houses, including CNN, the New York Times, the Post, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
In 2019, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against NSO’s surveillance campaign — the short message app offers encrypted chat as a service, then Pegasus spyware violated WhatsApp policy that got Zuckerberg angry. During the pandemic, NSO’s software was also found stalking 36 Al Jazeera’s reporters based on seeking information via their mobile phones from Citizen Lab — a research organization.