A joint report by the Spanish and British governments alleged that NSO, which is owned by a U.S. company with ties to Israel’s intelligence agency, spied on Catalan officials including its head of government in order to help Mariano Rajoy block independence from Spain.
Pegasus spyware is a type of malware that has been found to be snooping on the Catalan and British governments. Pegasus is an NSO client, which means it was developed by the National Security Agency. The best way to detect if you have this type of malware on your computer or phone is to look for suspicious files in your downloads folder.
After claims surfaced of a mercenary spyware operation utilizing Pegasus and Candiru against Catalans, NSO Labs, the now-famous inventor of Pegasus Spyware, is once again under worldwide attention.
Pegasus malware was also discovered on official UK networks, including those of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. On April 18, Citizen Labs, which discovered evidence for both assaults, released papers claiming that UK government personnel might be targeted in 2020 and 2021.
The newly revealed effort has been blamed on the Spanish government, according to Catalonia’s regional leader. NSO, on the other hand, has denied any involvement in the assaults, alleging that none of its tools were utilized and that Citizen Labs’ accusations were false.
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Citizen Labs detected at least 65 people being targeted or infected with NSO malware in partnership with Catalan civil society organizations. At least 63 of them were infected with Pegasus, four others with Candiru, and two more were afflicted with both.
The infections of 51 people were forensically verified out of the entire number of Pegasus targets. Without forensic evidence of a successful infection, 12 others were targeted through SMS or WhatsApp with Pegasus infection attempts.
HOMAGE, a previously unknown iOS zero-click vulnerability, was also discovered. Representatives of the European Parliament, Catalan Presidents, jurists, lawmakers, and members of civil society organizations, as well as their family members, have been among the victims.
While Citizen Labs hasn’t linked the assault to a specific organization, “strong circumstantial evidence” shows the attacks are being carried out by Spanish authorities.
According to the study, Citizen Labs’ data undercounts the number of people with Android smartphones who have been targeted or infected since their capabilities for identifying Pegasus on iOS are considerably more developed than those for Android.
Citizen Labs thinks that NSO customers in the United Arab Emirates targeted the Prime Minister’s Office, while clients in Cyprus, Jordan, and India targeted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. By monitoring network traffic and other digital signals transmitted back to NSO clients from the infected devices, evidence of the affected UK devices was discovered.
The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which succeeded the FCO, has staff in a number of nations. The FCO infections might be linked to FCO devices that are used in international countries and use foreign SIM cards.
According to a Reuters story, an NSO spokeswoman has refuted the allegations, claiming that they are baseless and, for technical and contractual reasons, cannot be linked to NSO products.
Cyprus officials have also firmly disputed the charges, while UAE, India, and Jordan spokespersons have not responded to demands for comment.
In the news: Cisco’s WiFi admin software is broken, allowing anybody to log in.
When he’s not writing/editing/shooting/hosting all things tech, he streams himself racing virtual vehicles. Yadullah can be reached at [email protected], or you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter.
The “citizen lab nso” is a research group that has found evidence of NSO clients in the Catalan and British governments. The research team has also released an analysis of the malware.
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