Israeli cyberwarfare company provides Pegasus software to 22 agencies in EU

by Middle East Monitor

Israeli cyberwarfare company NSO has contracts with 12 EU countries, through which it provided 22 security agencies with Pegasus software to spy on smartphones, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

This data was discovered during the visit of representatives of the European Parliament Committee of Inquiry on Pegasus spyware to Israel recently. The officials met with NSO representatives, officials in the Israeli Security Ministry and local experts in the field in order to get an in-depth look at the Israeli cyber warfare industry. The European Parliament Committee members included a Catalan legislator whose cell phone was hacked by an NSO customer.

During the committee’s visit to Israel, and especially after their return to Brussels, an advanced cyber warfare industry was uncovered in Europe as well, with many of its clients European countries.

Pegasus spyware, as well as similar programs developed by other companies, can infect a victim’s mobile phone, making is possible to eavesdrop on conversations, read encrypted applications and messages, fully access the contacts in the phone, and obtain real time updates on events taking place in the vicinity of the phone by turning on the camera and microphone.

During its visit to Israel, the European Parliament committee demanded to know the names of NSO’s customers in Europe. It was found that some 14 countries have signed contracts with the company in the past, and 12 countries are still using Pegasus in a legal manner to hack smartphones, according to the NSO’s response to questions from the European Commission of Inquiry.

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