Dozens of Al Jazeera journalists allegedly hacked using Israeli firm’s spyware
Israeli spyware has allegedly been abused by the Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates leadership to hack the phones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists. The unprecedented cyber attack stems from a private intelligence firm in Israel that appears to have sold the powerful tool. The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto uncovered the campaign, which seems to an ongoing major espionage campaign against one of the world’s leading media organizations.
Researchers at Citizen Lab also detailed malicious code in Apple iPhones they discovered while investigating the spyware. Citizen Lab researchers believe that the vulnerability is used by clients of Israel’s NSO Group, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to deploy the spyware. Experts found that all iPhone devices operating on a system that pre-dates Apple’s iOS 14 system are vulnerable. Although the spyware is only permitted for use against terrorists and criminals, countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are allegedly utilizing it for other means of surveillance on their own citizens.