It's a doozy of a case in digital spying technology. Security researchers have found evidence of attempted or successful installations of Pegasus, software made by Israel-based cybersecurity company NSO Group, on 37 phones of activists, journalists and businesspeople. The activists and others appear to have been targets of secret surveillance by software that's intended to pursue criminals and terrorists.
It's been a politically explosive issue that has put Israel under pressure, not just by activists, but also by governments worried about misuse of the software. France and the United States have raised concerns, and NSO has suspended some countries' Pegasus privileges.
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It hasn't helped Apple's reputation as a trustworthy technology supplier, either. On Monday, though, Apple reportedly fixed a security hole that Pegasus exploited for installation on iPhones. Malware often uses collections of such vulnerabilities to gain a foothold on a device and then expand privileges to become more powerful. NSO Group's software also runs on Android phones.
The phones were on an activist organization's list of more than 50,000 phone numbers for politicians, judges, lawyers, teachers and others. Also on that list are 10 prime ministers, three presidents and a king, according to an international investigation released in mid-July by The Washington Post and other media outlets, although there's no proof that being on the list means an attack was attempted...
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