Washington – Several phones of US diplomats have been hacked in recent months by someone who used spyware Pegasus, from the Israeli company Grupo NSO, The Washington Post newspaper reported this Friday.
The attacks, which took place in recent months, affected at least 11 US officials established in Uganda or related to affairs in that East African country, according to sources cited by the capital newspaper.
The announcement of these attacks, which were detected by Apple, comes a month after the US Department of Commerce included the NSO Group in its “black list” for activities related to cyber espionage and contrary to “national security interests.” from the United States.
The US government then underlined that the Israeli company “developed and supplied cyber espionage programs to foreign governments” that “used these tools to attack officials, journalists, businessmen, activists, academics and journalists.”
NSO is responsible for the development of the Pegasus electronic spy software, which in July an international journalistic investigation revealed that it had been to spy on hundreds of journalists and political leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron.
In fact, the company had already been singled out on previous occasions for selling spyware to countries with a democratic deficit and some Israeli MPs tried in 2016 to legally ban export permits for the NSO Group.
On Friday, the US National Security Council expressed concern in a statement, saying that the NSO Group’s software “represents a serious counterintelligence and security risk to US personnel.”
After being included in the “black list” of the United States, the NSO management was “dismayed” by Washington’s decision and assured that its technologies “support the interests of national security” of the North American country.
In addition, the company noted that they will present information on their compliance and human rights programs, which it described as “the most rigorous in the world” and said “are based on American values” and “have already resulted in multiple terminations of contacts with government agencies. that they misused “their products.
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