HomeVideosWorldRwanda believed to have used NSO spyware against Belgian journalist, wife

Rwanda believed to have used NSO spyware against Belgian journalist, wife

Belgium’s military intelligence service has concluded that a Belgian journalist and his wife were targeted by spyware created by the Israeli NSO group, possibly at the behest of the Rwandan government, according to reports in Belgian media.

Le Soir and Knack, both part of the global media consortium that published claims of widespread use of NSO’s Pegasus software, reported on Friday that Belgium’s General Intelligence and Security Service believed the phones of Peter Verlindon and Marie Bamutis The hacks were done using NSO technology.

In a blistering investigation released in July, NSO was accused of selling spyware to the governments of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India and the United Arab Emirates, who used it to hack. used to do. Calls from dissidents, journalists and human rights activists.

Following the revelations, Belgian military intelligence compiled a list of potential victims and checked their phones for signs of a cyberattack.

“As the full investigation is still ongoing, our service assesses whether the devices of both Peter Verlindon and Mary Bamutis have been targeted by Pegasus software. Given the timing of the intrusion and the nature of the individuals targeted, SGRS’s Assess that such infiltration was initiated by Rwanda,” said the four-page General Intelligence and Security Service document accessed by Nac and Le Soyer.

Pegasus spyware can trigger a phone’s camera or microphone and harvest its data, and a list of nearly 50,000 potential surveillance targets around the world is at the center of a storm after it was leaked to human rights groups.

Verlinden is believed to have been targeted by Rwanda because of his long career as a journalist specializing in Central Africa.

“Given my relationship with the Rwandan regime, we are not really surprised that Rwanda is trying to find out what my wife and I do. In recent years, we have been the target of internet trolls on social media. We have filed a defamation complaint in 2018. In other words: we are used to the Rwandan regime,” Verlindon told the Pegasus Project in response to the reports.

Verlinden worked for Belgian public broadcaster VRT for 32 years until 2019. Bamutese is a former Rwandan refugee with Belgian nationality.

NSO has insisted that its software was only for use in fighting terrorism and other crimes, and that the reported targeting list did not belong to the company.

Last week, Foreign Minister Yair Lapido downplayed criticism Israel’s NSO Group spoke about regulation, but vowed to step up efforts not to let the company’s controversial spyware fall into the wrong hands.

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