French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly had to change his cell phone and SIM card, after it was revealed by a media investigation that he could have been targeted by Pegasus – military-grade spyware developed and leased to its international clients by the Israeli firm NSO Group.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz will head to france on Wednesday to meet with his French counterpart Florence Parly to discuss strategic security; the scandal surrounding NSO Group is also on the agenda, according to the Jerusalem Post.
France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Parly and Gantz are expected to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, which has been in limbo since America’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, and the ongoing crisis in Lebanon.
The Israeli Defence Ministry said in a statement cited by the Times of Israel that Gantz is expected to provide Parly with “an update on the NSO affair”.
NSO Group, an Israeli cybersecurity company, is a primary developer of Pegasus, software created for the purpose of hacking the phones of its targets, so that its users may read their messages, record calls, track down their locations and steal any data from the phone. The powerful spyware is even capable of turning on a phone’s microphone and camera to listen to the target’s in-room conversations.
The NSO insists that they lease Pegasus to foreign governments to help them track down and catch terrorists and other criminals, and are rather cautious…