Application security, Threat Intelligence, Endpoint/Device Security

Pegasus spyware targeted at European journalists, activists

spyware

CyberScoop reports that NSO Group's Pegasus spyware targeted five journalists and two activists in Europe, most of whom were in exile, from August 2020 to June 2023.

Attacks with the spyware ramped up after the Russia-Ukraine war commenced more than two years ago, according to a report from Access Now, the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, and independent researcher Nikolai Kvantaliani.

No specific culprit was identified as being behind the spyware attacks but the intrusions were noted by the report's authors to indicate the urgent need for all governments to suspend digital surveillance tech sales, exports, and utilization until the establishment of human rights protections, as well as the prohibit Pegasus and other spyware tech with known human rights abuses.

Persistent spyware abuse across Europe has been attributed by several experts to the European Union's inadequate action in ensuring accountability on commercial spyware usage.

"The European Commission is playing a very dangerous game, by consciously not upholding the laws that are broken by EU member state governments, when they use commercial spyware. The Commission wrongly feels like it should not infringe on the freedom of member state governments to use these tools. It can act, or at least try, but chooses not to do so for political expediency," said PEGA Committee's Sophie In 't Veld.

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