A Thai rapper, the leader of a Ugandan political party, sent a message to dozens of journalists from the same media in El Salvador on Wednesday, November 24, warning dozens of people suspected of being victims of Apple Pegasus spyware. “State-linked hackers” Their phone and iCloud account were attacked.
The Israeli company that markets Pegasus, one of the few spyware companies, has filed a complaint in the United States against the NSO Group, one of the few spyware systems capable of infecting iPhones remotely so that their users can not detect them completely. A A similar complaint was lodged in 2019 via WhatsApp, When the company discovered that the email hole was being used by the NSO group to hack Android phones.
Just as WhatsApp did at the time, Apple announced that it would be able to individually identify victims of a hack attempt. Within twenty-four hours, dozens of people around the world claim to have received a notification from an American company. All of these alleged victims are politicians, human rights activists or journalists – all under surveillance illegal under international law.
In Thailand, several opposition figures, including anti-government rappers, released copies of emails sent to them by Apple. Hawkhacker, In Rob Collection Against Dictatorship. In early January, a video of the main topic of the protest group, பதிரூப் (“Reform”), viewed nearly ten million times Blocked by YouTube in Thailand Following the government’s complaint. Educators, social activists and politicians across the country said they had received similar messages. During an analysis conducted by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto (Canada), which specializes in spyware monitoring, Thailand was identified in 2018 as a potential customer of the NSO Group.
Journalists and political opponents
In El Salvador, a dozen journalists and executives from the news site Lighthouse We also received a notification from Apple. The center-left media announced In a press release. According to the latter, like the two key officials of the NGO, many personalities in the Neustro Timepo party (center, opposition) have confirmed that they can be targeted. Foundation for Democracy, Transparency and Justice.
Elsewhere in the world, people who choose to reveal that they have received a warning message from Apple are almost certainly associated with the opposition political movement or the media. This is a case in point Journalist in Ghana Or including several Armenians Former head of the country’s intelligence service, In politics or again in Uganda, leader of the Democratic Party (center right, opposition) Norbert Mao.
Did you get the announcement from Apple?
In July, The world Sixteen editorial staff, coordinated by Forbidden Stories with technical support from Amnesty International, have officially sold the NSO Group’s software for counter-terrorism and organized crime purposes only, and are used by many clients to illegally prosecute lawyers and politically. Protesters, journalists or human rights defenders. The NSO Group ensures that its clients cannot control the use of its software and carry out investigations that could lead to termination of the contract. “Credible allegations” Abuses are reported to him. However, the announcements sent by Apple confirm that the illegal use of the software is common among a large number of Pegasus customers.
A series of major setbacks
Apple’s announcements and complaints are the latest in a series of setbacks in the NSO Group. In early November, the company was It is on the “black list” of the US Department of Commerce, A strong barrier that greatly prevents him from interacting with American companies. A few days later, the company’s new CEO resigned. Within two weeks of his appointment. The use of pegasus is also at a center Extensive study in India And a Diplomatic tensions between France and Israel, The Ministry of Defense confirms the export of spyware used to target several senior government and embassy officials in France.
On November 22, rating agency Moody’s cut NSO Group debt by two points, Estimates What a company “The new license is highly dependent on sales, which is difficult to achieve based on ongoing action against the NSO.” The NSO Group owes approximately 450 million euros.
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