Forbidden Stories revealed how Morocco uses NSO tools to track and spy on journalists.
President Emmanuel Macron’s phone was hacked (AFP)
A phone belonging to French President Emmanuel Macron was chosen as a target for ‘spyware’ created by Israeli firm NSO Group, the Pegasus Project on Tuesday. This was revealed in an international investigation named. Macron’s name has joined the leaders of countries affected by spyware, which includes the name of the Pakistani prime minister, among others.
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International were known to have leaked more than 50,000 records of phone numbers that NSO’s customers had chosen to spy on. This information was shared with many media organizations of the world. The investigation was conducted under the supervision of Forbidden Stories, and Amnesty International provided forensic analysis and technical support.
180 journalists were targeted
The analysis revealed that at least 12 NSO clients selected more than 180 journalists in 21 countries. Potential targets and customers are from Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Togo and Rwanda. Amnesty International Security Lab conducted a forensic analysis of cell phones targeted with NSO’s Pegasus spyware.
The findings of the forensic analysis are similar to NSO’s previous analyzes affected by spyware, including dozens of allegedly hacked journalists in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and uncovered by Citizen Lab in December last year.
Morocco hacked Macron’s number
Pegasus partner Le Monde revealed on Tuesday that one of the phone numbers chosen as a possible target was that of Macron. The report’s team said it was one of more than 10,000 phone numbers selected by Morocco’s State Security Service, which is a client of NSO and its Pegasus spyware. According to the information, about 10 percent of these numbers were French.
According to statistics, the number regularly used by macros was one of the possible targets. Forbidden Stories revealed how Morocco uses NSO tools to track down and spy on journalists. Amnesty published its first report in October 2019 revealing ‘how NSO’s products are being used in Morocco’.
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