‘Operators in India Hacked’ UK Foreign Office Phones Using Pegasus

Two days before Boris Johnson’s first visit as prime minister to India, it has been revealed that ‘operators’ in India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Cyprus and Jordan used the Israeli spyware Pegasus to target phones of United Kingdom (UK) government officials between July 2020 and June 2021.

According to an analysis by Toronto-based Internet watchdog Citizen Lab—which has exposed the use of the NSO Group’s Pegasus by various governments, including India, several times—and reported by The New Yorker for the first time, the malware was also found on a device connected to 10 Downing Street.

A UK official confirmed to The New Yorker that the network was compromised. UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of British intelligence, tested several phones at Downing Street, including Johnson’s. “It’s a bloody hard job,” the official said adding that the agency was unable to locate the infected device. Therefore, the quality and quantity of data that could have been compromised were never determined.

“When we found the No. 10 case, my jaw dropped,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the Citizen Lab told the American weekly magazine. Another senior researcher Bill

— source newsclick.in | 19 Apr 2022

Nullius in verba

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