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Israeli Spyware Company’s Software Targeted Phones of Journalists and Politicians Around the World

HeadlineJul 19, 2021

A joint investigation by 17 news outlets, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, found Israeli surveillance company NSO Group’s Pegasus software targeted the phones of journalists, activists and political figures around the world for foreign governments. A massive data leak, shared with the publications by Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based nonprofit, contained over 50,000 phone numbers gathered since 2016, which reportedly includes heads of state. It’s unclear how many phones were actually breached. The report has identified 37 hacks out of 67 smartphones that were analyzed. The Washington Post said the cellphone of Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of its slain columnist Jamal Khashoggi, was infected with the malware days after his murder in October 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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