Pegasus Project revealed in a report that the phone numbers for 14 leaders of state, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, were selected as people of interest by clients of spyware company NSO Group.
Cyril Ramaphosa may have been “hacked”
Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said that the unprecedented revelation that the phones of at least fourteen heads of state may have been hacked using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware should send a chill down the spine of world leaders.
“We have long known that activists and journalists are targets of this surreptitious phone-hacking – but it’s clear that even those at the highest levels of power cannot escape the sinister spread of NSO’s spyware. NSO Group can no longer hide behind the claim that its spyware is only used to fight crime – it appears that Pegasus is also the spyware of choice for those wanting to snoop on foreign governments,” Callamard warned.
Who is the NSO Group and what do they want?
According to Amnesty International, NSO Group’s spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale.
After a big investigation which included tracing spyware, the Pegasus Project, together with Amnesty International, found that the phone numbers for 14 leaders of state were included in the list as people of interest.
Amnesty International says that they were unable to conduct forensic analysis on the phones to see if the spyware had been installed successfully.
NSO said that its spyware is only intended for use against terrorists and serious criminals and has reiterated that it will “investigate all credible claims of misuse” and “take strong action” where such allegations prove correct, Amnesty International said.