The French cybersecurity service ANSSI has found the spy software Pegasus on the phones of three French journalists, writes The Guardian. At least 180 journalists worldwide would be monitored by the software.
This is the first time that an independent body has considered findings from the Pegasus project, write The Guardian. The controversial software came to light again recently after research by international media companies, which found a list of 50,000 phone numbers of possible targets.
In France, at least a leading employee of the France 24 television channel would have been targeted. In addition, Pegasus was found on the phone of an investigative journalist from the Mediapart website. The director of that site also had the software on his phone.
A source from France 24 says to The Guardian that it is “extremely shocked” that an employee of the channel may have been monitored. “We will not stop there, there will be legal action.”
The journalists may have been watched by customers of the Israeli company NSO Group, the maker of Pegasus. That company supplies the spy software to governments and intelligence agencies. In its own words, the technology provides ways to ” help governments detect and investigate terrorism and crime to save thousands of lives.”