Indian journalist's phone targeted with Israeli spyware Pegasus: Report | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian journalist's phone targeted with Israeli spyware Pegasus: Report

Nov 09, 2023 09:56 AM IST

The forensic work on Magnale's phone found a pattern of suspicious crashes on it that matched previously known Pegasus intrusions.

An Indian journalist has been allegedly subjected to hacking using Pegasus, a spyware manufactured by Israel-based NSO Group. An analysis of the journalist's iPhone showed an infiltration attempt was made in August, news agency Reuters reported.

Pegasus, sold exclusively to government bodies, manufactured to combat terror and crime.(AP/For Representative Purposes Only)
Pegasus, sold exclusively to government bodies, manufactured to combat terror and crime.(AP/For Representative Purposes Only)

Anand Magnale, who works for a global group of investigative journalists called Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), was reportedly among those in India who received alerts on their Apple mobile devices which prompted a row over issue of national security and call for stringent IT rules. Several politicians were also among those who received the Apple alerts, who claimed that they have been targetted by ‘state-sponsored’ hackers in order to remotely access their iPhones.

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Also read: CERT-In begins probe into Apple 'hacking' alerts, sends notice to US giant

However, those alerts didn't specify any government entity behind the hacks or any use of spyware. Moreover, the Indian government has also dismissed the allegations of being involved in the ‘hacking’ alerts and ordered an inquiry into the matter.

OCCRP co-founder Drew Sullivan told the news agency that the forensic work on Magnale's phone found a pattern of suspicious crashes on it that matched previously known Pegasus intrusions.

The journalist hasn't responded on the matter. The Union IT ministry also didn't react to the report immediately.

Pegasus, sold exclusively to government bodies, manufactured to combat terror and crime which works by allowing sweeping access to the targets' smartphones, allowing them to record calls, intercept messages and transform the phones into portable listening devices.

"Whatever government is spying on the reporters, there's no plausible explanation for that other than political gain," Sullivan told Reuters.

iVerify, the company that ran the forensics on Magnale's phone said ‘with high confidence’ that his phone was attacked with Pegasus.

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