French Agency Confirms Traces of Pegasus in Phones of Journalists 

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France has also opened an investigation into the reports of Pegasus attack on its President Emmanuel Macron whose phone number was found in the Pegasus database

Team Clarion 

NEW  DELHI — The cyber security agency of France, the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Anssi), has found traces of Israeli spyware Pegasus in the phones of journalists.

The Times of India citing French daily Le Monde said the analysis of the phone of a France 24 journalist by Anssi found that it matched with those found among other Moroccan targets of Pegasus.

The journalist’s phone number was found in the leaked database reported by multiple global media outlets but was not analysed by Amnesty International’s cybersecurity division.

France has launched a judicial investigation into the Pegasus scandal under which the phones of two Mediapart journalists were analysed by Anssi. The agency concluded that the findings were the same as those of Amnesty’s cybersecurity division including the reality of the infection, its modalities, dates and duration.

Toronto’s Citizen Lab  that conducts research on cybersecurity issues had verified the forensic analysis by Amnesty. Analysis by France’s Anssi under judicial probe is the first major government agency has done so.

France has also opened an investigation into the reports of Pegasus attack on its President Emmanuel Macron whose phone number was found in the Pegasus database, allegedly added by Moroccon agencies.

The pressure is growing on Israel government to investigate allegations against NSO Group, the tech surveillance company that sells Pegasus spyware to governments.

France is also taking measures to ensure data security and confidentiality to its ministers with new secure devices.

The analysis by Amnesty’s Security Lab has found 23 phones out of 67 were successfully attacked and 14 shows traces of hacking by Pegasus including phones of some prominent Indians such as political strategist Prashant Kishor and journalists Siddharth Varadarajan (The Wire) and Sushant Singh (formerly with The Indian Express).

The Supreme Court of India has also agreed to hear the petition filed by Journalists N. Ram and Sashi Kumar seeking enquiry into reports of surveillance which they say violates fundamental rights of the citizens under India law.

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