- Aug 1, 2014
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Some of the world’s most sophisticated Android and iPhone spyware has been found floating around America for the first time. It's one of as many as 45 countries in which NSO Group malware was uncovered. And together they may represent breaches of American and other nations' computer crime laws against cross-border hacking, not to mention a severe concern for citizens’ privacy, according to the researchers who uncovered the professional spy software.
The malware of concern, dubbed Pegasus, is the creation of NSO Group, an Israeli company valued at close to $1 billion. It can hide on Apple or Google devices, spying via the camera, listening in on conversations through the microphone, stealing documents and siphoning off once-private messages, amongst other surreptitious activities.
NSO has always protested that its tools are designed to be used to track the most heinous criminals, from terrorists to drug cartels. But the company has been caught up in spying scandals in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. In both cases, civil rights organizations were up in arms that the iPhone malware had targeted activists, journalists and lawyers, among others who appeared entirely innocent of any crimes. Just last month, Forbes reported that an Amnesty researcher focusing on issues in the UAE had been targeted by NSO spyware. And most recently, leaked emails included in lawsuits in Israel and Cyprus against NSO Group appeared to show the company had hacked the phone of a journalist working at an Arab newspaper.
According to Edward Snowden, Israeli spy firm NSO Group— which sells sophisticated hacking tools to governments, militaries, and intelligence agencies — was used to track and eventually murder Khashoggi at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul last month.
The firm is reportedly behind the hacking tool for iPhones that forced Apple to issue a critical software update in 2016, and its Pegasus spyware, which enables hackers to access messages, photos, microphone, and camera, and has reportedly been used by governments to keep an eye on dissidents abroad.
Speaking remotely on Tuesday, Snowden said the Saudis targeted Khashoggi because they had infected the devices of one of his contacts — another Saudi dissident — living in Canada.
Snowden asked why Khashoggi was targeted. "How did they know what [Khashoggi's] plans and intentions were, how did they decide that he was someone they needed to act against, who was worth the risk," he said.
Snowden said the Saudis were able to procure information on Khashoggi by using the Israeli spy tools.
"The reality is that they bugged one of his few friends and contacts using software created by an Israeli company," Snowden claimed, which may have helped the Saudis keep tabs on Khashoggi and lure him to the consulate.
More amazing revelations about our terrific ally Israel. As I recall, the original story from Sept about Israeli spyware floating around the USA garnered virtually no interest from the MSM or intelligence agencies in the USA, so I'd assume they're also in support of what NSO is doing with Israel's blessing.
I wonder who else is currently under surveillance , or possibly even being tracked for the purpose of murder?