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Pegasus used to hack Jordanian activists, journalist — report

National Cyber Security Center denies gov’t link

hacker
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — In response to a new report by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders, the National Cyber Security Center denied Tuesday allegations that government entities had targeted the phones of Jordanian citizens using the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group.اضافة اعلان

In a report, the center called the allegations baseless and said that Jordan had not cooperated with any party to spy on citizens or censor their calls, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

It stressed that the Communications Act and the Jordanian Cyberspace Protection System do not allow for violations of private communications, in accordance with existing legislation and established cyberspace strategies, policies, and standards.

Earlier on Tuesday, a joint report between Front Line Defenders and University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab claimed that parties “likely associated with the government” operate Pegasus from within Jordan.

Front Line Defenders and Citizen Lab said in their report that a digital forensic investigation uncovered Pegasus spyware on the mobile devices of four Jordanian human rights defenders, including a woman human rights defender, a lawyer, and a journalist. Through forensic analysis of the phones of human rights defenders, the investigators identified two Pegasus operators operating in Jordan. Those affected are all human rights defenders working against corruption in Jordan.

The report, which has been obtained by select news organizations, states that one group, “Mansaf”, has been active since at least December 2018 at the earliest, while the other, “BlackIris”, has been active since December 2020 at the earliest.

The report details the hacking of an activist in Jordan’s Hirak movement, a well-known journalist, and a lawyer and member of the Freedom Forum.


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