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Human Rights Watch reports Pegasus hacking into the phone of one of its directors

26 January 2022
2 min.
Human Rights Watch reports Pegasus hacking into the phone of one of its directors

Pegasus hack

The personal phone of one of the heads of Human Rights Watch has been hacked by the spyware Pegasus. This was stated in a statement published on the human rights defenders' website on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch representative's personal mobile phone was hacked with the spyware "Pegasus", according to a statement published on the human rights defenders website on Wednesday.

Lama Fakih, the organization's Director of Crisis and Conflict Management, informed Apple on 11/23/21 and 11/24 that his personal iPhone may have been hacked by an unidentified state-sponsored hacker. The authenticity of the communication from Apple was confirmed by HRW's Assistant Director of Information Security.

Fakih, who oversees HRW's work in armed conflict zones, said her devices had been hacked by spyware at least five times in the past year.

The Israeli NSO Group, which developed Pegasus, told human rights activists about the hacking of Fakih's mobile phone that it was "not aware of any activity against the Human Rights Watch employee with its software." the company said it would make HU's preliminary assessment of the human rights activist's claims to determine whether the case needed to be investigated.

In mid-summer last year, the French-based NGO Forbidden Stories and 17 media outlets in various countries published an investigation alleging that tens of thousands of people around the world may have been spied on by a number of countries using the Pegasus mobile phone Trojan software.

The Guardian, a British newspaper that participated in the journalistic investigation, reported that a number of heads of international organisations, governments and states could have been targeted. The NSO Group itself claims that the right to use Pegasus software is granted exclusively to states and government agencies with special permission from Israeli authorities.

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Director, Crisis and Conflict Division at Human Rights Watch
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