Spyware found on phones of journos: French intelligence
- The latest disclosure further corroborates the findings of “Pegasus Project”, a probe by a group of 17 media organisations into alleged surveillance.
Investigators from French intelligence have confirmed for the first time that the Pegasus spyware has been found on the smartphones of three journalists, including a senior employee at France 24 TV news channel, The Guardian reported on Monday.
The latest disclosure further corroborates the findings of “Pegasus Project”, a probe by a group of 17 media organisations into alleged surveillance.
Forbidden Stories, a French media entity, and Amnesty International had access to a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers that had been identified as those of people of interest by clients of the Israeli firm NSO Group since 2016. NSO owns the Pegasus spyware.
According to the Guardian report, the French agency for information systems security, called Anssi, detected digital traces of the spyware on the TV journalist’s phone. Anssi shared the findings with the Paris public prosecutor’s office, which is overseeing the probe into possible hacking.
It also found the Pegasus spyware on phones belonging to Lénaïg Bredoux, a journalist at the French investigative website Mediapart, and the site’s director, Edwy Plenel.
“We are stupefied and angry that journalists could be the object of spying. We will not be taking this lying down. There will be legal action,” a source at France 24 said.
Paris-based Forbidden Stories says about 180 journalists across the world may have been selected as possible targets for surveillance by government clients of NSO Group.