Did UAE seek Israeli company’s help to hack phones of Saudi prince, Qatari emir?

Did UAE seek Israeli company’s help to hack phones of Saudi prince, Qatari emir?
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Dubai: Emails obtained by media triggers another controversy. It is alleged that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had sought the help of an Israeli spyware company to hack phones of the Qatari emir, a Saudi prince and others.

According to the report published in Al Jazeera, a Qatari citizen and other persons had filed lawsuits in Israel and Cyprus. They were the victims of the company’s spyware programme.

It is alleged that in August 2013, UAE had signed a contract with the company to get the license of surveillance software. The UAE had reportedly intercepted the phone calls of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Saudi Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah and Saad Hariri, PM of Lebanon.

In order to activate the spyware, a link was sent on the target phones.

It may be mentioned that once the victim clicks on the link, a software by name Pegasus gets downloaded thereby compromising the phone data of the victim. It can also be used to monitor phone calls.

It is also reported that after the hacking of Qatar’s news agency and government social media accounts, the diplomatic crisis started which resulted in the standoff between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on one side and Qatar on another side.

It may be noted that earlier, the NSO Group had also sold the surveillance technology to Mexico.

The company charges $650,000 to hack 10 devices in addition to installation fees of $500,000.