The European Commission said it had found indications that the phones of some of its top officials had been hacked by the Israeli Pegasus spyware.
European Union Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said he received a notification from Apple in 2021 that his mobile phone may have been hacked using the Pegasus program.
It came in a letter he addressed to Dutch MP Sophie Annette Wald two days ago, who is a member of an investigative committee in the European Parliament investigating allegations of bloc governments using the program, especially in Hungary, Poland and Spain.
Reynders said in his letter that an internal investigation was unable to “confirm that Pegasus was able to infiltrate the personal or professional devices” of him or other EU officials.
But he added that “several checks of the devices led to the discovery of signs of violations,” noting that “it is impossible to attribute these signals with certainty to a specific criminal.”
For security reasons, the letter did not provide further details on the outcome of the commission’s investigation, which is still ongoing.
Reynders said the commission sent requests for more information to Hungary, Poland and Spain about their use of Pegasus, with Budapest and Warsaw responding that the software was being used for legitimate national security purposes.
The NSO Group, an Israeli-based spyware maker, became the subject of controversy last year after media reports showed that governments were targeting opponents of the program, which can control and steal mobile phone cameras and microphones. data without the knowledge of their owners.