Military-grade spyware reportedly found on phones of journalists, activists

From CNET: Military-grade spyware licensed by an Israeli firm was used in attempted and successful hacks of smartphones belonging to journalists and human rights activists, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners.

In all, 37 phones, including those belonging to two women close to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, were attacked with spyware licensed by the Israeli firm NSO Group to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals, the investigation found. The phones were included on a list of more than 50,000 numbers concentrated in countries known to conduct surveillance on their citizens.

The list was shared with news organizations by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalism nonprofit, and human rights group Amnesty International. The investigation, called the Pegasus Project, included a forensic analysis of the phones. The numbers on the list are unattributed, but investigators were able to identify more than 1,000 across more than 50 countries.

"The Pegasus Project lays bare how NSO's spyware is a weapon of choice for repressive governments seeking to silence journalists, attack activists and crush dissent, placing countless lives in peril," Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

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