CyberNews Briefs

NSO spyware used to hack Polish politicians, Khashoggi’s wife, others

The Associated Press and Citizen Lab launched a joint investigation into cases of misuse regarding the Pegasus spyware from the NSO Group, revealing that Polish Senator Krzysztof Brejza was among those compromised. The investigation found that Breiza was hacked using the software 33 times between April 26, 2019 and October 23 2019. Breiza is a leading opposition politician in Poland and helped run a campaign against the current right-wing government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Breiza gained popularity in Poland due to his harsh views on corruption. Breiza was reportedly horrified to learn of the attack, as access to his phone would provide the attacker with information about his campaign strategy and corruption whistleblowers.

Additionally, Citizen Lab revealed that the NSO Group’s Pegasus software was used to hack into the phones of outspoken Polish prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek and Roman Giertych, a lawyer for Brejza’s party Civic Platform. Current Prime Minister Mr. Morawiecki and his administration have denied any involvement in the hacking. EU member states have begun to speak out about the troubling incident, stating that practices such as spyware against opposition leaders have no place in the region. This is the latest development in a series of shocking findings regarding the spyware’s usage. Earlier this month, Citizen Lab found that the UAE used the Pegasus spyware to hack the phone of Hanan Elatr, the wife of deceased Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to Citizen Lab’s reports, her phone was compromised months before her late husband was assassinated by Saudi officials. In total, Citizen Lab has reported that the Pegasus spyware was used to target at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and at least 600 politicians.

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