What the latest Pegasus spyware leak tells us

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Report from protector, Washington postThe basis with 15 other media organizations is the leak of tens of thousands of phone numbers, which seem to have become Pegasus targets. Although the devices associated with the numbers on the list are not necessarily infected with spyware, the media can use the data to determine that journalists and activists in many countries are the targets.And was successfully hacked in some cases.

These leaks demonstrate the scope of what cybersecurity journalists and experts have said for many years: Although the NSO Group claims that its spyware is aimed at criminals and terrorists, its practical applications are much broader. (The company issued a statement in response to the investigation, Denies that its data has been leaked, and any resulting reports are true. )

My colleague Patrick Howell O’Neill has been reporting on the allegations against the NSO Group, “This is not the same as the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the targeting of the political reforms in Mexico. The surveillance of Catalan separatist politicians by scientists and activists and the Spanish government,” He wrote in August 2020In the past, the National Bureau of Statistics has denied these allegations, but it has also argued more broadly that it cannot be held responsible if the government abuses the technology it sells.

We wrote at the time that the company’s core argument was “common among weapons manufacturers.” That is: “The company is the creator of the technology used by the government, but it does not attack anyone, so it cannot take responsibility.”

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