Indian politician and reporter's phone hacked with Pegasus: 10 facts reported

​​​​​​​India was one of those countries that used Pegasus, a phone hacking tool from Israel's NSO group

India was one of those countries that used Pegasus, a phone hacking tool from Israel's NSO group, to target politicians, journalists and activists. Indian news site The Wire is one of 17.

The first part of a multilateral investigation, released late Sunday, found 38 Indian journalists (according to The Guardian) were with freelancers, including journalists from the media and websites. Mentioned are a Mint reporter and three people from the Hindustan Times.

The attack targeted Financial Times editor Rula Khalaf and 38 of 180 journalists worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times and Le Monde.

In a response published by The Guardian, the Indian government characterized the investigation as a "fishing expedition", stating that "there is no concrete evidence or truth related to the allegation of" government surveillance of certain individuals. "

The government cited the Pegasus controversy in 2019, when a WhatsApp vulnerability was used to deliver malware to at least 20 Indians, including journalists, lawyers and activists.

"The Indian government's response to the right to be informed about the use of Pegasus has been clearly reported in the media and is sufficient in itself to respond to malicious allegations of alleged links between the Indian government and Pegasus." The answer was: India.

“It is important to note that government agencies have control protocols that include sanctions and oversight by senior officials from central and state governments only for the benefit of the country for clearly stated reasons,” it added.

Wire reported that 10 forensic phones were hacked or showed signs of hacking attempts.

NSO Group said its interpretation of the leaked databases about Forbidden Stories and media partners is misleading. "A number claiming to be a 'data breach of more than 50,000 phone numbers' cannot be a list of numbers intended for governments using Pegasus," it added.

Wire also said the targets included three Indian opposition leaders, two ministers, many businessmen and the constitutional government. The name is expected to appear in the next section of the investigation in the next few days. The website also reported that the victims were relatives of activists accused in the Elgar Parishard case.

Pegasus allows software users to intercept all device communications to a target, including saved files and messages. The malware also allows the device's microphone and camera to activate and access location registers.

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India and the United Arab Emirates are government lists of alleged NSO clients, including numbers that are part of a database leak, according to a Guardian report. It is very hot in the Indian parliament, which convenes on Monday during the rainy season, especially after the names of opposition politicians are announced.

On Sunday, pending his release, such an investigation report was released and it was reported that several opposition parties had met. Then on Sunday, after the names of targeted journalists were announced, the opposition leader said he would “wait and see what the political leaders have” before deciding how to proceed.

“The Indonesian government has denied the use of unauthorized surveillance. If the Pegasus was only sold to the government, did other governments (China / Pakistan?) Use the Pegasus to eavesdrop on famous Indian citizens? Independent investigation? " On Sunday night in the Congress tweet Shashi Tarur.

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