Pegasus spyware used 'snoop' on Indian journalists, politicians

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Snooping on politicians, journalists (Image: Pixabay)
Snooping on politicians, journalists (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : Telephone number of 40 journalists and activists have been found in a 'leaked list of potential target for surveillance' and forensic reports have confirmed that "some of them were successfully snooped upon by an unidentified agency using Pegasus software”, The Wire, an independent news website, reported on Sunday night.

Names of ministers, government officials and opposition leaders were also named in the list, The Wire, which conducted the investigation along with international partners, claimed.

The leaked telephone numbers included correspondents and writers from the Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today, Indian Express and Network18. Journalists like Shishir Gupta, Siddharth Vardarajan, M.K. Venu, Sushant Singh, Rohini Singh, Muzamil Jaleel, Ritika Chopra and Swati Chaturvedi have been named in the list.

The spyware Pegasus is apparently sold to governments around the world by NSO group, an Israeli company. It can be used to snoop on phones that run on Android and iOS systems.

Seventeen international media groups, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, led the investigation into how Pegasus was used to allegedly extract messages and information from the phones of journalists, politicians and activists.