More than 200 Spanish telephone numbers also on list of spy software Pegasus

by Lorraine Williamson
200 telephone numbers hacked

A data breach of the Pegasus spy software shows that – in addition to the numbers of the Spanish Prime Minister and Minister Robles – there are 200 other telephone numbers on the list to be monitored. Furthermore, the Guardian newspaper designates Morocco as a customer of the software. 

However, the Spanish government said during an inserted press conference on Monday that it did not want to speculate about who is behind these espionage practices. On the same day, the government said it had filed a complaint with the judge of the Audiencia Nacional to investigate the facts. 

British newspaper has details about data breach Pegasus 

However, the British newspaper The Guardian already seems to have more information about the data breach. Some 200 telephone numbers in Spain were on the list of potential Pegasus targets, according to the paper. These phones belong to Spanish politicians, activists, and journalists, and have recently been on the NSO Group customer list. This is the Israeli company that developed the Pegasus software. 

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200 other politicians, activists and journalists on spy list 

It was announced earlier this week, that Prime Minister Sánchez and Defense Minister Robles were hacked with the spy software. Although, this reportedly happened in June 2021. However, the list of people linked to Spain goes much further than just these politicians. Two of the people whose phone numbers are on the list are journalist Ignacio Cembrero and Moroccan activist Aminatou Haidar. Amnesty International has claimed several times before that the latter has been a victim of “hacks” since 2018. 

Morocco wanted to have a selection from a database of about 50,000 telephone numbers in 2019. This is according to sources from The Guardian. However, according to the NSO Group, although these 200 phone numbers were on a list, it does not mean they were actually hacked. The customer considered these numbers to be ‘possibly traceable’. 

Morocco denies allegations by British newspaper 

Morocco itself states that it has never used Pegasus software to spy on foreign leaders. However, a preliminary investigation of the data breach shows Morocco did select dozens of politicians and leaders from France – including President Macron – for “possible surveillance”, according to The Guardian. 

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