The Pegasus Project, a case of global espionagecase
The Spanish Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, were allegedly targeted in 2021 by the Pegasus spyware. He denounces facts of “enormous gravity”.
Delayed in relation to the scandal that shook the world in the summer of 2021, the Pegasus affair continues to rebound in Spain. A few weeks after the revelations that several Catalan separatist leaders had been spied on for years, possibly by Madrid, the Spanish government in turn claims that it was the victim of illegal wiretapping using Israeli software. These would have targeted the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, and his Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, during the year 2021.
“It’s not about guesswork“, declares this Monday, during a press conference convened with an urgency, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, who speaks of facts “of “enormous gravity“. “We are absolutely certain that this is an external attack […] because in Spain, in a democracy like ours, all interventions are carried out by official bodies and with judicial authorization“, he explains, without specifying if the Spanish authorities had a track on the origin of this intervention, and in particular if it came from a foreign country.
According to the spokesperson, Pedro Sanchez’s phone was the victim of two intrusions in May 2021. Margarita Robles’ phone was attacked the following month. In both cases, the interventions made it possible to extracta determined amount of data from the two mobile phones“, he assures, adding that there is to date no evidence of further action. The analysis of the phones of certain other members of the government is still in progress.
Designed by the Israeli company NSO, Pegasus allows, once installed on a laptop, to access messaging, data or to activate the device remotely for the purpose of capturing sound or images. The start-up has always maintained that its software can only be sold to states to fight against terrorism or serious crimes, and that these sales must obtain the prior green light from the Israeli authorities. According to the NGO Amnesty International, this software could however have been used to hack up to 50,000 laptops worldwide, including those of many journalists and human rights defenders.
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