WhatsApp chief says government officials, US allies targeted by Pegasus spyware

The head of WhatsApp says that “allies” of US officials are among those targeted by NSO Group spyware in 2019.

Speaking to The Guardian, WhatsApp’s chief executive, Will Cathcart, said there are “parallels” between the 2019 attacks and a recent data leak allegedly implicating NSO Group clients in widespread cybersurveillance.

Israeli vendor NSO Group has experienced bad press in recent weeks due to a damning report issued by Forbidden Stories, Amnesty International, and various media outlets worldwide.

Forbidden Stories claimed that a leaked list of over 50,000 phone numbers allegedly revealed individuals either “of interest” or selected for targeting by clients. According to the non-profit’s Pegasus project, while an appearance on the list does not mean that someone was targeted or compromised by Pegasus, infection by the firm’s spyware was confirmed in “dozens” of cases.

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