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Article

29 Oct 2019

Author:
Citizen Lab

Citizen Lab identified over 100 cases of abusive targeting of human rights defenders & journalists using NSO Group software

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"NSO Group/Q Cyber Technologies: Over one hundred new abuse cases," 29 Oct 2019

As reported in May 2019, WhatsApp identified and shortly thereafter fixed a vulnerability that allowed attackers to inject commercial spyware on to phones simply by ringing the number of a target’s device. Today Oct 29th, WhatsApp is publicly attributing the attack to NSO Group... After the incident, Citizen Lab volunteered to help WhatsApp identify cases where the suspected targets of this attack were members of civil society, such as human rights defenders and journalists... Citizen Lab has identified over 100 cases of abusive targeting of human rights defenders and journalists in at least 20 countries across the globe... that took place after Novalpina Capital acquired NSO Group... NSO Group spyware is being sold to government clients without appropriate controls over how it is employed by those clients. They are, in turn, using NSO’s technology to hack into the devices of members of civil society, including journalists, lawyers, political opposition, and human rights defenders—with potential lethal consequences. 

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WhatsApp sues Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group, accusing it of hacking the phones of human rights activists & journalists

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