By Tony Winterburn • 14 July 2020 • 9:50
A Spanish Parliamentary Presidents’ mobile phone was the target of a spy program so high-tech that only governments can buy it!
THE attack came to light since a Canadian cybersecurity institute, investigating a flaw in WhatsApp, discovered that the number of Roger Torrent, a senior Catalan politician, was attacked in 2019 along with that of a hundred personalities from civil society around the world.
Torrent, who was targeted using the spyware, has claimed its use is further proof of the Spanish state’s ‘dirty war’ against its opponents and says these revelations will have an inevitable impact on attempts to find a political solution to the ongoing territorial dispute between the regions.
He said evidence by researchers at Citizen Lab that pointed to Pegasus hacking software sold by the Israeli NSO Group being used against him and others confirmed long-held suspicions that the regional independence movement was being spied on by the Spanish state.
“[It] corroborates and confirms the fears or ideas that we pro-independence campaigners had about the state being prepared to use all the mechanisms at its disposal to go after a legitimate political project,” claimed Torrent.
“It seems wrong and unacceptable from a democratic point of view and as regards the rule of law. It also seems to me to be immoral for a huge amount of public money to be spent on buying software that can be used as a tool for the persecution of political dissidence.
WhatsApp has said that it detected approximately 1,400 instances of the spyware being used between April 29, 2019, after it was alerted to the vulnerability and May 10, 2019, when it was patched.
“The Target Users included attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats, and other senior foreign government officials,” the Facebook-owned messaging company said in a lawsuit it has filed against NSO Group, an Israeli spyware developer that sells Pegasus.
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