The Information Minister says the government is investigating whether the prime minister’s phone was surveyed, after Project Pegasus revelations showed the number on the list.
The Pakistani government says it is investigating whether a mobile phone number once used by Prime Minister Imran Khan was part of a surveillance hacking attempt using Pegasus software, says the Information Minister.
On Monday, the US-based Washington Post. reported that a number once used by Khan was among a list of hundreds of potentially selected numbers using Israeli company NSO’s Pegasus mobile phone surveillance and infiltration software.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan was investigating the possible hacking attempt and would raise the issue in unspecified forums if confirmed, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Previously, Chaudhry had raised concerns regarding revelations from Project Pegasus, a consortium of news organizations that produce stories based on internal NSO document leaks.
Project reports showed that hundreds of rights activists, human rights lawyers, journalists, dissidents, political leaders, officials and others were potentially compromised using NSO’s Pegasus software, which the firm sells only to governments.
The human rights group Amnesty International confirmed piracy in 23 of the 67 telephones subjected to technical analysis, and another 14 showed signs of attempted penetration.
“Extremely concerned by the news emerging from [UK-based newspaper The Guardian] that the Indian government uses Israeli software to spy on journalists, political and political opponents, unethical policies of [the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi] they have dangerously polarized India and the region, ”Information Minister Chaudhry said on Monday.
While the Project Pegasus data is organized into groups that would suggest use by individual customers, it does not reveal which customer was responsible for entering which phone numbers.
Analysis of potential targets and correlation with known NSO clients led the project to identify 10 governments that it believes are responsible for policing the list.
Those governments are from India, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates.