EU finds evidence that employees’ smartphones were spied on using Pegasus spyware –

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The EU’s chief justice official said in a letter I have seen Reuters. In a July 25 letter sent to European lawmaker Sophie at ‘t Veld, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said that in 2021 Apple told him that his iPhone had been hacked using Pegasus, a tool developed and sold to customers. Government agencies of Israel Monitoring company NSO Group.

The letter said Apple’s warning led to a check of Reynders’ personal and professional devices, as well as other phones used by European Commission staff.

Although the investigation found no conclusive evidence that Reynders’ phones or EU employees had been hacked, investigators did find “indications of compromise,” a term security researchers use to describe evidence showing a possibly spyware attack.

Reynders’ letter did not provide further details and stated that it was “impossible to attribute these indications to a particular author with complete certainty”. He adds that the investigation into the spyware is still ongoing.

Letters left to Reynders, the European Commission and Reynders spokesman David Marechal were not immediately returned. A spokesperson for NSO said the company would gladly cooperate in the EU investigation.

“Our assistance is more important because there is still no concrete evidence of a breach,” the spokesman said in a statement to Reuters. “Any illegal use by a client targeting activists, journalists, etc. is a serious violation.”

Apple sued NSO Group for violating your terms and service agreement.

Reuters It first reported in April that the European Union was investigating whether phones used by Reynders and other top European officials had been hacked with spyware designed in Israel. Reynders and the European Commission declined to comment on the report at the time.

Reynders’ acknowledgment in the hacking letter was obtained in response to requests from European lawmakers, who set up a commission earlier this year to investigate the use of surveillance software in Europe.

Last week, the commission announced that its investigation found that 14 EU member states had purchased NSO technology in the past. Renders message – shared with Reuters From Sophie in ‘t Veld, the commission’s rapporteur stated that officials in Hungary, Poland and Spain were or were about to be questioned about their use of the Pegasus system.

Sophie In ‘t Veld said it was necessary to find out who targeted the European Commission, noting that it would be particularly disgraceful for an EU member state to be responsible. The European Commission also raised the issue with the Israeli authorities, asking them to take measures “to prevent their products from being misused in the European Union,” the letter stated. An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple’s warnings, sent out late last year, told targeted users that a hacking tool, called ForcedEntry, may have been used against their devices to download spyware. Apple claimed in a lawsuit that ForcedEntry was the work of the NSO Group. Reuters As previously mentioned, another smaller Israeli company called QuaDream has developed an almost identical tool.

In November, the administration of US President Joe Biden gave the NSO Group a designation that makes it difficult for US companies to deal with it, after it was established that its phone-hacking technology has been used by foreign governments to “target” political opponents around the US. Globalism.

NSO, which has kept its customer list confidential, confirmed that it sells products only to “vetted and legitimate” government customers.

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