NSO company getting involved again? Agents in the Emirates installed the Pegasus spyware on the phone of Hanan al-Atar, the wife of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a few months before the journalist was assassinated at the Turkish consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, according to a new Citizens ‘Love investigation by Peres’ exposure .
The Washington Post, the newspaper in which Khashoggi worked, reported today (Tuesday) how al-Atar’s phone was hacked in April 2018, while she was being held in an interrogation facility after landing in Dubai, shortly after her engagement to an opponent of the Saudi regime. At the time, both her Android device and tablet were in the possession of the emirate agents.
A forensic test done by Bill Marczak, a cyber security expert at Citizen Love, on Android devices detected that on April 22, 2018, at 10:14 a.m., an address bar was inserted into one of the phones and in less than five minutes the Pegasus spyware had already been installed. “We found the smoking gun on her phone,” Marchek told the Post.
Marchek noted that he could not determine if the software had indeed infected the phone and allowed its contents to be stolen and the device’s microphone unlocked, however since the installer did not enter the address bar a second time, his conclusion is that the operation was completed immediately. The same address that was typed into Android was also detected on other devices where the spyware of the Israeli cyber company was installed.
NSO CEO Julio Shalev denied last July that the software was being used against al-Atar, and following the publication, the company’s lawyer, Thomas Claire, repeated the version. “Ms. al-Atar,” he said, “the post’s ongoing efforts to incorrectly link the NSO to Khashoggi’s shocking assassination.”