Pegasus Project: Spyware Used To Snoop On Indian Politicians and Journalists

 - Sakshi Post

In a shocking revelation, Pegasus spyware was used to spy on a few Indians. This spyware is sold by NSO Group in Israel and was recently used on 300 Indians. Under this, we also have Cabinet ministers and opposition leaders. There are 2 serving cabinet ministers and three opposition leaders. Apart from that, there were journalists and officials from other fields as well.

The information regarding all this was leaked recently. The database included thousands of phone numbers of which 300 were Indians. It was reported that there were at least 50,000 numbers on the list. There were numbers of many officials including government, political leaders, and activists.

Around 16 media outlets including, The Wire, came together to test this and decided to verify their information. During the forensic test, it was revealed that the phones did have Pegasus spyware. They conducted the test on 37 phones whose numbers were included in the list and found the spyware. Among the phones included in the test, 10 were Indian.

Along with The Wire, there were other media outlets included in this operation. Their investigation was called the ‘Pegasus Project’. Other than The Wire, there were Paris-based media nonprofit Forbidden Stories, Le Monde, The Guardian, Washington Post Die Zeit, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and a few other news and media companies from other parts of the world.

There were 300 Indians on the list of numbers attacked by the spyware and apart from that, the rest of the numbers were from countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Mexico, Hungary, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Rwanda. Mexico was on top with 15,000 phone numbers. The team of investigators believes that these countries were targeted for a reason.

Pegasus spyware is not new to Indian journalists as a similar thing happened in 2019 as well where journalists were warned that their phones could be hit by spyware. It happened with those who used WhatsApp.

Not all names have been identified as of now as there are just too many. But some major ones on the list include political leaders and activists. As for journalists, The Wire’s Siddharth Vardharajan and Rohini Singh were targeted and journalist Prem Shankar was there too. Other major names will be shared later.

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