Phones of 5 French Ministers Hacked by Pegasus
AFP reveals that the phones of five French ministers were targeted by the Israeli Pegasus spyware.
Five French ministers and a diplomatic consultant of French President Emmanuel Macron were targeted with "Israel's" Pegasus spyware, sources told AFP on Friday, confirming earlier reports by investigative website Mediapart.
French security services caught the spyware while checking the phones. It is believed that the infiltrations took place in 2019 and 2020, according to Mediapart's report.
The five Ministers targeted are Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, Territorial Cohesion Minister Jacqueline Gourault, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie, Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon, and Overseas Territories Minister Sebastien Lecornu, Mediapart said.
Moreover, two French sources well-informed of the investigation confirmed the facts stated in the report, asking to stay anonymous because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon told L'Opinion on Friday, "My phone is one of those checked out by the national IT systems security agency, but I haven't yet heard anything about the investigation, so I cannot comment at this stage." One of the Minister's aides also spoke with AFP and said that "the Minister has no access to state secrets, so we can't really see the point of spying on her."
In July, Le Monde reported a hacking attempt on the phone of the former Environment Minister Francois de Rugy, originating from Morocco.
The media outlets that revealed this information based on their investigations, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, and France's Le Monde, reported at the time that the leaked list included one of French President Emmanuel Macron's numbers and those of many French cabinet ministers.