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Amnesty: We Were Targeted With Israeli NSO Cyberweapons

Published: August 1, 2018
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Source: haaretz

An Amnesty International employee has been targeted with Israeli-made surveillance software, the human rights group said Wednesday, adding to a growing number of examples of Israeli technology being used to spy on human rights workers and opposition figures in the Middle East and beyond.

In a 20-page report, Amnesty outlined how it thinks a hacker tried to break into an unidentified staff member's smartphone in early June by baiting the employee with a WhatsApp message about a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Like many other Israeli startups in the security field, NSO was founded in 2010 by three veterans of the army’s premier signals intelligence unit, 8200: Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. They started work on Pegasus, which remains NSO's only product, immediately after founding the company.

The software can infect cellphones, allowing someone to record calls, remotely access the device's camera, see text messages, obtain GPS coordinates, and more. The software can be remotely installed onto any mobile device without the owner's knowledge.

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