How safe do you think you are from the prying eyes of hackers in India and international enemies?
If reports are true, our phones are indeed compromised with our data already in the clutches of our enemies. Welcome to modern technology where no one is safe if you have already begun incorporating technology in your day to day life.The UAE rulers had been using Israeli spyware for more than a year now, secretly turning the smartphones of dissidents at home or rivals abroad into surveillance devices, the New York Times reported.
According to Qatari newspaper editor Abdullah Al-Atbah, he had smashed his sim card last year after he feared NSO could target his secret reliable source.
He was shocked to learn that his iPhone 7 could have already been compromised after he was handed over a cache of his emails that indicated his phone was indeed targeted by Israel’s NSO group.
“I feared that someone could get back into it,” Al Atbah said in an interview, adding, “I needed to protect my sources,” DC reported.
Al Athbah is the editor of Qatar’s Al-Arab newspaper has now got a new phone, a new SIM card and a new approach to email attachments and links.
He says he never opens anything, “even from the most trusted circles in my life.”
It was not just Al-Athbah’s who feared safety of his sources, but soon after his discovery just months after, there were parallel lawsuits filed in Israel and Cyprus where the complainants revealed the behind-the-scenes scenario where the government’s spyware is used to evesdrop on everyone from Mexican reporters to Arab royalty.
However, the NSO Group did not immediately respond to the claims.
A first lawsuit, filed in a Tel Aviv court on Thursday by five Mexican journalists and activists alleged that they were spied on using NSO Group software while the second lawsuit filed in Cyprus has Al-Athbah to the list of plaintiffs.
The lawsuit filed by Al-Athba revealed leaked material which was handed over to him by unknown sources/ party’s show officials in UAE discussing plans whether or not to hack phones of the senior functionaries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar including the Royal Qatari family.
The editor has refused to give out the name of his source, but according to the New York Times, Al-Athba claims are not false since the cache verified by Times revealed that intercepted phone conversation with senior Arab journalist Abdul Aziz Alkasmis confirmed he did had the conversation and had no clue that he was under surveillance.
NSO Group accused in the lawsuits is owned by US private equity firm Fransico Partners.
The company has been in the news after one of the Mexican plaintiffs Alejandro Calvillo took a stand against the company revealing he was targeted using the Israeli company’s spyware.
Now the five Mexican plaintiffs are seeking 2.5 million Israeli shekels ($693,000) as compensation and an injunction on NSO Group from the court to prevent the company from helping anyone spy on them.