Friday 08 December 2023

NSO's Pegasus spyware found on phones of Spanish PM, DM

The phones of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles were infected with the Israeli NSO Group's Pegasus spyware without the approval of the Spanish government, the country's Minister of the Presidency Félix Bolaños announced on Monday.

Bolaños stated during a sudden press conference on Monday morning that the phones were infiltrated last year, with Sánchez's phone targeted in May and Robles' phone targeted in June.


The minister called the attack "external" and "illicit," saying that it was not carried out by state agencies. "In a full democracy like ours, only official bodies are empowered to make interventions and always with judicial authorization," said Bolaños, according to Spanish media.


The phones of other members of the government are being checked as well to determine if they were also infected. 


The Spanish government has presented a complaint on the issue to the country's National Court. No suspect had been named by Spanish authorities as of Monday morning.


The announcement by the Spanish government comes just two weeks after a report by Citizen Lab found that at least 65 individuals from the European Parliament and Catalonia were targeted or infected spyware, including Pegasus and spyware from Candiru, another spyware company.

The victims of the spyware campaign identified by Citizen Lab include members of the European Parliament, Catalan presidents, legislators, jurists and members of civil society organizations, including academics and activists. Family members of these victims were targeted as well in some cases.

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