As part of a collaborative investigation led by Access Now, Citizen Lab researchers conducted forensic analysis of iPhones belonging to members of Jordan-based civil society.
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In an investigative collaboration with Access Now, the Citizen Lab has analyzed forensic artifacts from the iPhone of award-winning exiled Russian investigative journalist Galina Timchenko and found with high confidence that on or around February 10th, 2023 it was infected with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
We identified widespread Pegasus spyware infections within Armenian civil society. We also identified two suspected Pegasus operators in Azerbaijan, whom we call BOZBASH and YANAR.
In 2022, the Citizen Lab gained extensive forensic visibility into new NSO Group exploit activity after finding infections among members of Mexico’s civil society, including two human rights defenders from Centro PRODH, which represents victims of military abuses in Mexico.
Mexican digital rights organization R3D, with technical support from the Citizen Lab, has determined that Mexican journalists and a human rights defender were infected with Pegasus between 2019 and 2021. The infections occurred years after the first revelations of Pegasus abuses in Mexico, and after Mexico’s current President assured the public that the government no longer used the spyware, and that there would be no further abuses.
Our investigation uncovered an extensive Pegasus hacking operation against pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand. At least 30 forensically-confirmed victims of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware between October 2020 and November 2021.
The Citizen Lab, in collaboration with Catalan civil society groups, has identified at least 65 individuals targeted or infected with mercenary spyware, including members of the European Parliament, Catalan Presidents, legislators, jurists, and members of civil society organisations.
We confirm that in 2020 and 2021 we observed and notified the government of the United Kingdom of multiple suspected instances of Pegasus spyware infections within official UK networks, including the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Phones belonging to four Jordanian human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists were hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware between August 2019 and December 2021. We assess that at least two of the four targets were hacked by Pegasus operators primarily focused on Jordan, based on SMS messages containing Pegasus links that map to a cluster of domain names focusing on Jordanian themes.
Our forensic analysis confirms that phones belonging to three individuals in Bahrain were hacked in 2021 with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.