A groundbreaking report published by the Guardian alleges Israeli-based NSO group of storing more than 50,000 mobile phone numbers of high profile figures such as activists, journalists, business executives and politicians who were possible targets of iOS and Android hacking.
According to the report, the company’s controversial Pegasus malware is being extensively used to hack mobile phones of activists, journalists, business executives and politicians by employing various exploits including a zero-click zero-day in iOS.
While on the face of it, the purpose of the spyware is to target individuals of interest to governments and law enforcement agencies, however, human rights campaigners such as Amnesty International hold that the spyware is employed by oppressive regimes to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a large scale.
A group of journalists put forward the allegations in a report called Pegasus Project, which was published on Sunday. The report examined data breached from the NSO Group, which disclosed a cache of more than 50,000 mobile phone numbers worldwide that the firm was storing, according to the report published by the Guardian newspaper.
While there are mixed views as to the true extent of the use of NSO’s spyware in the wild, there certainly is a consensus on the fact that there are genuine concerns that the spyware has been used to expose activists, journalists and politicians critical of certain governments.