Israeli spyware targets European parliamentarians

An investigation by the European Parliament found that the phones of some MPs were hacked through Israeli programs such as the famous Pegasus spyware.

The Haaretz newspaper reported that the European Parliament, after investigating the Pegasus spyware program, took action on the phones of parliamentarians and began checking their devices, and it was found that the phone of the chairman of the Greek Socialist Party, Nikos Androlakis, was hacked.

The newspaper reported that the parliamentarian’s phone received a malicious SMS link and was threatened by the Predator spyware developed by an Israeli electronics company.

The newspaper pointed out that the installation of the program required “clicking” on a link (unlike Pegasus, which does not), and since the parliamentarian did not, it is possible that his phone was not infected.

After filing a complaint with prosecutors, Androlakis said there was an attempt to hack into his mobile phone “with the Predator surveillance malware,” adding that revealing who made the attempt was “not a personal matter, but a democratic duty.”

In the wake of the European Pegasus investigation, the European Parliament tested the phones of about 200 of its members, and this came after the misuse of Israeli spyware was revealed and 180 journalists were subjected to spying operations.

The newspaper said that the Israeli police-developed Sitrox Predator spyware is almost identical in capabilities to the Pegasus program, but differs from it in the way it infects the device, as the Predator requires the victim to click on a link while as the “Predatory” versions of the “Pegasus” do not require this.

The spyware company Citrox is owned by the Greek Intelexa and run by Tal Dilian, a former Israeli military intelligence officer. According to the newspaper Haaretz, which specified that the company was until recently headquartered in Cyprus and that a number of its employees are Israelis, and indicated that “it is likely that the company has employees in Israel.”

Source: Haaretz

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