The scandal surrounding the Pegasus spy software of the Israeli company NSO Group is expanding. The spy software, which the company says is intended to track down terrorists and criminals, may have also been used to hack into the phones of French head of state Emmanuel Macron and former prime minister Edouard Philippe.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the former Belgian government leader Charles Michel and some French ministers would also be on the list with more than 50,000 songs on which the Pegasus spyware could be released. Also mentioned are Pakistani President Imran Khan, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Iraqi President Barham Salih. The list has been leaked to Amnesty International and the French NGO Forbidden Stories. It is not known whether they have actually succeeded in hacking their phones.
It recently became known that Pegasus is being abused by governments to spy on critical journalists, human rights activists and members of the opposition, among others, via infected smartphones. For example, according to France24, Morocco would have bugged French journalists.
Journalists, human rights activists and lawyers worldwide would be hacked with the software of NSO Group.
The intelligence and investigative services and armies in forty other countries, including Rwanda, India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Hungary and Azerbaijan also use the software.
French prosecutors have now launched a judicial investigation into Morocco’s use of the spy software.