NSO Pegasus spyware is now targeting the smartphones of numerous journalists and activists in El Salvador.

Pegasus Spyware Creator NSO is Reportedly Experiencing Financial Trouble | Will it Exit the Market Soon?
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This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group which features 'Pegasus' spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. - Private Israeli firm NSO Group has denied media reports its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israel's defence ministry.

NSO Pegasus Spyware in El Salvador

According to the news story by the New York Times, one of the biggest news outlets in the country, El Faro, reported that most of its workforce has been hacked by the Pegasus malware, which was manufactured by NSO.

It is worth noting that the United States previously blacklisted the Israel-based firm that manufactured the said malware after it was used to target journalists in the country as well.

The NY Times said in the same report that the move of the US comes as it fights the unregulated market of spyware across the globe.

NSO Pegasus Spyware Targets Journalists, Activists

Meanwhile, according to the report by Bloomberg, both the Access Now and Amnesty International and Citizen Lab issued a statement, announcing that the Pegasus spyware was used to hack the devices of journalists, as well as the staff of pro-democracy and human rights organizations in El Salvador.

The joint statement on Wednesday, or on Jan. 12 to be more precise, further disclosed that the spyware went on to target the journalists who are working for the media outlets, such as Gato Encerrado and El Faro.

On top of that, the victims of the phone-hacking also included the employees of organizations namely Transparencia y Justicia and Fundacion Democracia.

NSO Pegasus Spyware Targets Journalists, Activists in El Salvador | Mobile Phones Hacked
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BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 27: A participant looks at lines of code on a laptop on the first day of the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28C3) - Behind Enemy Lines computer hacker conference on December 27, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The Chaos Computer Club is Europe's biggest network of computer hackers and its annual congress draws up to 3,000 participants.

Bloomberg said in its news story that the human rights groups accounted for a total of 35 journalists and activists that fell victim to the Pegasus spyware.

What's more, the two cybersecurity watchdogs further said in the same statement that they have examined the mobile devices of the employees, editors, and reporters of El Faro.

After doing so, they found out that there was Pegasus spyware installed on 22 smartphones from the workforce of the media outlet.

The founder and the director of El Faro, Carlos Dada, said that the installation of spyware on their devices is "completely unacceptable," wherein he noted that it endangers not just their sources, but their loved ones as well.

The El Faro founder added that spying on journalists also, in turn, limits the work that they could do.

Meanwhile, a total of 13 journalists from another media org in the country also got the Pegasus spyware installed on their devices.

Read Also: Pegasus Spyware Creator NSO is Reportedly Experiencing Financial Trouble | Will it Exit the Market Soon?

NSO Pegasus Malware

The spokesperson of the NSO group, which is the firm behind the Pegasus malware, issued a statement sharing its stance on the said issue.

The NSO spokesperson said that using their spyware against "dissidents, activists, and journalists is a severe misuse of any technology."

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Written by Teejay Boris

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