UAE used Pegasus to infect Downing Street network: Cybersecurity group
Canadian cybersecurity group Citizen Lab says a suspected infection at the UK Prime Minister's Office was associated with a Pegasus operator linked to the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates purportedly used Israeli Pegasus spyware to hack the British Prime Minister's office network, Canadian cybersecurity group Citizen Lab reported on Monday.
The international scandal over Pegasus spyware, used by the Israeli occupation authorities, broke in July 2021 after a joint media investigation unveiled that the spyware had also been used to keep an eye on politicians, businessmen, activists, journalists, and opposition figures around the world.
"The suspected infection at the UK Prime Minister's Office was associated with a Pegasus operator we link to the UAE," the group indicated in a fresh report.
According to Citizen Lab, in 2020 and 2021, several official networks in the UK were infected with the Pegasus spyware, with the main victims of the attack being 10 Downing Street and the UK Foreign Office.
"The suspected infections relating to the FCO [The Foreign and Commonwealth Office] were associated with Pegasus operators that we link to the UAE, India, Cyprus, and Jordan," the group pointed out.
NSO sold Pegasus to two UAE leaders
It is noteworthy that Israeli news website The Marker had learned that the occupation's cybersecurity firm, NSO, has sold its infamous Pegasus spyware to two UAE leaders: the ruler of Abu Dhabi Mohammad bin Zayed and the ruler of Dubai Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
However, iOS devices of almost 10 US State Department employees were subjected to a Pegasus attack, Reuters reported.
Apple sues NSO Group
In November, Apple launched a lawsuit against NSO Group for the surveillance and targeting of the company’s customers. They are also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.
According to new evidence, an Apple iPhone was successfully hacked by a government user of NSO Group's Pegasus spyware in December 2021, only weeks after the technology giant sued the Israeli business in a US court and demanded that it be barred from "harming individuals" with Apple devices.
Data leaks have shown that the Israeli firm was behind the targeting of many journalists and political leaders.
European Parliament to investigate use of surveillance software
It is noteworthy that the European Parliament would launch on April 19 an investigation on the use of surveillance software in EU member states, confirmed EU lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld.
This comes in light of reports that said the phones of investigative journalists in Hungary and senior opposition politicians in Poland were hacked with Israeli spyware.
Although Polish and Hungarian governments have denied accusations of spying, Polish officials and a Hungarian lawmaker have admitted that their governments purchased NSO software.