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Amnesty International Staff Targeted with Spyware

August 02, 2018 / Kacy Zurkus

Amnesty International found hackers attempting to infect one of its researcher's phones with a tool from Israel-based NSO Group, long known as makers of spyware, the NGO reported. Amnesty International’s tech team launched an investigation after one of its staff members received a suspicious WhatsApp message in Arabic, which detailed information about a protest at Washington D.C.’s Saudi embassy. The message included a malicious link for further details. Because the NSO Group spyware is mainly sold to government agencies, Amnesty International believes that it was targeted by a hostile government that takes issue with its work. “The potent state hacking tools manufactured by NSO Group allow for an extraordinarily invasive form of surveillance,” said Joshua Franco, Amnesty International’s head of technology and human rights. “A smartphone infected with Pegasus is essentially controlled by the attacker – it can relay phone calls, photos, mess...