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UK: Human Rights lawyer targeted with NSO technology, repeatedly used against activists

Author: Nick Hopkins & Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 14 May 2019

"WhatsApp spyware attack was attempt to hack human rights data, says lawyer", 14 May 2019

The UK lawyer whose phone was targeted by spyware that exploits a WhatsApp vulnerability said it appeared to be a desperate attempt by someone to covertly find out the details of his human rights work.The lawyer, who asked not to be named, is involved in a civil case brought against the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group whose sophisticated Pegasus malware has reportedly been used against Mexican journalists, and a prominent Saudi dissident living in Canada. It has been claimed the would-be hacker had also repeatedly attempted to install Pegasus on the lawyer’s phone in recent weeks...” NSO Group said: “NSO’s technology is licensed to authorised government agencies for the sole purpose of fighting crime and terror. The company does not operate the system, and after a rigorous licensing and vetting process, intelligence and law enforcement determine how to use the technology to support their public safety missions. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has encouraged its 1.5 billion users to update to the latest version of the app after discovering the vulnerability... WhatsApp said in a statement: “We have briefed a number of human rights organisations to share the information we can and to work with them to notify civil society.”...

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Related companies: Facebook NSO Group Whatsapp (part of Facebook)