The Pegasus project coincides with the 2019 user attack


A picture for an article titled WhatsApp Head says the new Pegasus spyware investigation coincides with the findings from the 2019 attack.

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP (Getty Images)

That’s what WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart said finds from new investigation in the pegasus software of the Pegasus group NSO coincides with what the application learned about the attack on its users in 2019. Cathcart also questioned the NSO’s claim that the list of thousands of phone numbers crucial to the investigation is an exaggeration, noting that WhatsApp hacked 1,400 people over a two-week period.

In an interview he published The Guardian on Saturday, Cathcart said the 2019 attack targeted senior government officials around the world, including individuals in national security who are “U.S. allies”. Hacking more than a thousand of its users has prompted WhatsApp and Facebook, the app’s parent company, to sue NSO in 2019 claims that other target users were lawyers, journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, and diplomats.

A phone infected with Pegasus spyware can provide an uncomfortable detailed insight into a victim’s life. Clients who use it can collect location information, call logs and contacts. A camera and a telephone microphone can also be connected to monitor the victim. Pegasus is frighteningly easy to install and infects phones by tricking an individual into clicking on a link or activating it without any clicks.

Cathcart said the reporting from the investigation, conducted by a consortium of 17 news organizations, was “very consistent” with what WhatsApp decorated in 2019. He added that many targets in the WhatsApp attack did not have “work under surveillance in any way , shape or form. “

“This should be a wake-up call for security on the Internet … mobile phones are either safe for everyone, or not safe for everyone,” Cathcart told the Guardian, which is part of the news consortium.

In addition, the head of WhatsApp cast doubt on the NSO’s response to the investigation. An Israeli security firm has made many allegations in the investigation “Unsubstantiated theories.” One of the central pieces of evidence, a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers believed to identify people of interest to NSO clients, was classified as an exaggeration and denied that the list had anything to do with the NSO or its clients.

Cathcart, however, stressed that the attack on WhatsApp targeted 1,400 users over two weeks.

“This tells us that over a long period of time, over a period of many years, the number of people who have been attacked is very large,” he said, according to the agency. “That’s why we felt it was so important to raise concerns about it.”

Cathcart also called for greater accountability for spyware developers, stressing that government clients are the ones financing his operations. The NSO is he described his customers as 60 intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies in 40 countries. She claims that her clients, whom she does not identify stating confidentiality, are only allowed to use Pegasus to prevent and investigate crime and counterterrorism.

In response to Cathcart’s comments, an NSO spokesman told the Guardian that the company is striving to create a safer world.

“We are trying to help create a safer world,” a spokesman said. “Does Mr. Cathcart have other alternatives that allow police and intelligence agencies to legally detect and prevent malicious acts by pedophiles, terrorists, and criminals using end-to-end encryption platforms? If so, we would be happy to hear that. ”

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