The phones of at least 35 El Salvador journalists working in six different media outlets have been spied on by Pegasus software, according to a new report by the Canadian NGO Citizens’ Lab, which examined the phones of these journalists.
Among the victims were the editor-in-chief and investigative journalistsLighthouse, A free media. In 2020, Lighthouse Revealed that there is an agreement between the government and the criminal gang, especially the more violent MS13 – which is vehemently denied by President Naib Pukele.
Ask more Pegasus: At the center of a global investigation into phone spying
According to Oscar Martinez, editor-in-chief of El Faro, “all newspaper services are targeted.”
In all, the devices of twenty-two journalistsLighthouse Some were hacked several times until November 2021, the Citizen Lab report shows. Oscar Martinez, editor, has found his phone hacked forty-two times. “This is a long, frantic attempt to target our writing with the Pegasus.”, Mr. Martinez said, Forbidden Stories Site Interview. “All departments of the newspaper are targeted, including management services, faculty, management, board of directors, sales team, and so on.”
After the revelations of The world And in the summer of 2021, sixteen editors, co-authored by Forbidden Stories, conducted analyzes to determine how Apple might have targeted its iPhone users, with regard to the many deviations of the Pegasus to spy on lawyers, journalists or selected officials. In November 2021, a US company sent notifications on hacked iPhones; Several dozen were in El Salvador.
Pegasus allows you to take complete control of a phone. The software is designed to absorb all messages from the mobile, including messages transmitted by secure messaging systems such as signals used by journalists.Lighthouse. It can collect the device’s geolocation information, activate the microphone or camera, and intercept direct communications.
For targeted media, this intense surveillance can only come from the Salvador government. Naib Bukele, the country’s youngest president since 2019, is not alone in creating El Salvador, the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin cryptocurrency as its official currency: under his presidency, the country has seen a series of attacks against the right-wing government.
“Although there is often no evidence to link an infection with a Pegasus client, we have been able to identify a customer who has been exclusively affiliated with El Salvador since at least November 2019.”, Citizen Lab writes in its report. “We were able to connect this client with the infection target Lighthouse. ⁇
The government of Salvador has denied in a letter to Reuters that it is a client of a powerful spyware sold by the NSO Group. “The El Salvador government has no ties to the Pegasus and has never been a client of the NSO Group.”, Thus confirming the text, which makes two bizarre arguments in support of its denials: first, that the country “Not subject” To buy a license for the software, but his own government suffered The Minister of Justice is also said to have received a notification from Apple informing him that he may have been targeted by Pegasus. Endless argument even if it is proven: Justice is one of the institutions that President Bukele wants to control. Under his presidency, a massive overhaul of the judiciary took place, with one-third of judges forcibly retiring..
For its part, the NSO group told banned stories “To use [de Pegasus] Targeting protesters, activists or journalists is a serious violation of technology. Evidence within the company suggests that there will be no El Salvador agreement by the beginning of 2022 “Active” With the NSO group, the Israeli company may have cut off the Salvador government spyware access since late 2021.
In total, at least 500 people in the country have been targeted by Pegasus, According to newspaper reports Today’s diary. The list included not only journalists, but also opposition politicians and, according to the newspaper, an employee of the US embassy in the country.