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US diplomats targeted by Pegasus spyware

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The hacks, which have taken place in recent months, have targeted US officials based in Uganda or working on issues relating to the East African country, two of the sources said.

These intrusions represent the largest hack known to US officials using technology developed by NSO.

Large-scale espionage

NSO, already implicated in spying on heads of state and hundreds of government officials around the world, said in a statement Thursday that it had no indication that its software was used, but that it had suspended affected accounts and that he would investigate based on Reuters information.

If our investigation shows that these actions did indeed occur with NSO’s tools, the affected client will have their account terminated permanently and legal action will be taken., said a spokesperson for NSO, who added that the group cooperate with any relevant government authority and present all information available to us.

The Israeli firm has long claimed that it only sells its products to government law enforcement and intelligence clients to help them monitor security threats, and that it was not directly involved. in surveillance operations.

Officials at the Ugandan Embassy in Washington did not comment. A spokesperson for Apple, whose phones were used by targeted State Department employees, as well as a State Department spokesperson, also declined to comment.

Are US officials so far immune?

US diplomats appeared to have been spared from espionage, not least because Pegasus is, according to NSO, designed not to be able to be used on numbers starting with +1, which is the telephone code for the United States.

Apple recently filed a lawsuit in the United States against the NSO group, asking for a permanent ban on the Israeli company’s software on its devices.

The iPhone maker soon after this summer’s revelations fixed a computer vulnerability exploited by Pegasus that allowed people to spy on people without even having users click on trapped links or messages.

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