Front Line Defenders’ analysis indicated that six devices belonging to six Palestinian human rights defenders were hacked with Pegasus, a spyware developed by the cyber-surveillance company NSO Group. Both the Citizen Lab and Amnesty International’s Security Lab independently confirmed these findings.
Search Results for: Pegasus
Our forensic analysis of two iPhones belonging to Hubbard found evidence of Pegasus infections in July 2020 and June 2021. Notably, these infections occurred after Hubbard reported in January 2020 that we found that he was targeted in 2018 by the Saudi Arabia-linked Pegasus operator that we call KINGDOM.
We identified nine Bahraini activists whose iPhones were successfully hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware between June 2020 and February 2021. The hacked activists included three members of Waad (a secular Bahraini political society), three members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, two exiled Bahraini dissidents, and one member of Al Wefaq (a Shiite Bahraini political society).
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International requested that the Citizen Lab undertake an independent peer review of a sample of their forensic evidence and their general forensic methodology. We were provided with iTunes backups of several devices and a separate methodology brief, and independently validated that Amnesty International’s forensic methodology correctly identified infections with NSO’s Pegasus spyware.
New York Times journalist Ben Hubbard was targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware via a June 2018 SMS message promising details about “Ben Hubbard and the story of the Saudi Royal Family.” The SMS contained a hyperlink to a website used by a Pegasus operator that we call KINGDOM. We have linked KINGDOM to Saudi Arabia. In 2018, KINGDOM also targeted Saudi dissidents including Omar Abdulaziz, Ghanem al-Masarir, and Yahya Assiri, as well as a staff member at Amnesty International.
The Citizen Lab has sent an open letter to Francisco Partners in light of the apparent misuse of NSO Group’s technology– a company in which we believe Francisco Partners has a majority stake– and to request timely action in regards to issues raised in previous correspondence.
In this post, we develop new Internet scanning techniques to identify 45 countries in which operators of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware may be conducting operations.
On July 27, 2022, Citizen Lab senior researcher John Scott-Railton spoke before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was invited to provide expert testimony on a hearing devoted to combatting threats to U.S. national security from the proliferation of foreign commercial spyware.
The Citizen Lab is at the forefront of investigating and reporting on abuses of mercenary spyware. Our submission highlights the capabilities of spyware and the nature of the spyware industry; how surveillance technology is used to violate fundamental human rights, and more particularly how it is related to enforced disappearances; and we provide recommendations for states, spyware companies, other businesses, civil society, and the Working Group.
In an exclusive with New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, Citizen Lab researchers reveal the presence of Pegasus spyware on the phones of 65 activists, politicians, and civil society groups in Catalonia.