Washington – Smartphones of 11 government officials Federal State Ministry Origins in Uganda were vulnerable to wiretapping Using spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO . group.
According to an anonymous source, the 11 employees include several US government diplomatic corps. The source added that the campaign also targeted some Ugandan citizens working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Reuters was the first to publish information about the attack on these employees. The event was notified just one month after the Commerce Department put the NSO Group on a list that significantly limits the business they can do with US companies, as well as access to technology from the US.
The attack is the first incident in which Pegasus spyware has been used against US government employees.
At the moment, it is unknown the person or entity that used the NSO Group spyware to carry out the attack; It is also not known what information, if any, was obtained.
“We are very vigilant about the given use of commercial software such as those developed by the NSO Group and the risk it poses to the United States intelligence and security community,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
On November 23, Apple Inc. NSO Group sued for an injunction preventing the Israeli company from using Apple software, tools and equipment to attack its products.
The source added that the targeted phones are Apple iPhones.
For its part, the NSO Group indicated, through a written communication, that it had canceled the contract and the access of “concerned customers” to the Pegasus platform, but did not reveal the identity of the customer(s). The company said its software is designed not to work on cell phones in the United States and that it sells its services only to authorized customers. The Israeli government decides which foreign entities and governments the NSO Group can provide services to.
“The NSO Group has no way of knowing who the targets of our customers are, and therefore, we have not been able to find out about this issue,” the Israeli company said.
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