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Staffer targeted by Israeli-made spyware- Amnesty International

An employee of Amnesty International was targeted by spyware made by the secretive Israeli company, NSO Group, the human rights organisation said on Wednesday.
Amnesty International said one of its staffers working on human rights in Saudi Arabia received suspicious messages in June that were attempts to infect the users’ phones with the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
Amnesty’s findings were corroborated by the Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog based at the University of Toronto, which has been tracking NSO technology.
Report says the NSO Group, one of Israel’s most prominent cyber surveillance firms, sells its software to governments around the world under the supervision of the Israeli Defence Ministry.
Joshua Franco, Amnesty’s head of technology and human rights, said the hacking was likely “a deliberate attempt to infiltrate Amnesty International by a government hostile to our human rights work.’’
Franco has said NSO’s surveillance technology poses a “grave risk’’ to activists around the world.
The NSO Group was not reachable for comment.
In a statement provided to Amnesty International, the company said their products are “intended to be used exclusively for the investigation and prevention of crime and terrorism” and any other use is a violation of their policies and legal contracts.
NSO Group said it will investigate Amnesty’s report and “take appropriate action.”
According to Citizen Lab, NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has previously been used to spy on Mexican journalists and a human rights activist in the UAE.
According to Israeli court documents filed in May, the company was valued at 900 million dollars. (dpa/NAN)
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