On Sunday, an international collaboration between The Washington Post, The Guardian, and other media organizations published a massive report detailing the global usage of a spyware tool called “Pegasus” to infiltrate personal cell phones. The Pegasus tool, which was developed by an Israeli cybersecurity organization named NSO Group, was sold to the governments of countries including Hungary, Rwanda, and India. The report found those governments used the spyware to surveil many individuals, including the family of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The information in Sunday’s report, obtained from a leaked list provided by Amnesty International and a Paris-based nonprofit media outlet called Forbidden Stories, contained tens of thousands of phone numbers belonging to journalists, activists, and politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron. The phone numbers are purportedly a collection of people of interest to the governments and clients who purchased the Pegasus tool.
Of 67 phones suspected to be infected and examined by Amnesty International, 37 devices, mostly iPhones, showed evidence of tampering or attempted tampering.