U.S. Embassy Staff in Uganda Had Their iPhones Hacked With Spyware Sold by Israel

US diplomatic staff in Uganda had their iPhones hacked using controversial spyware sold by the Israeli cyber-weapons company NSO Group, according to reports.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reported on Thursday that at least nine workers based in the US Embassy in Uganda or specialising in the country were targeted using NSO’s Pegasus software by parties unknown.

Another report by the New York Times put the number of officials at 11, saying embassy staff had received a warning from Apple that “state-sponsored attackers are trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID”.

Pegasus is a military-grade surveillance suite that can infect an iPhone without the user’s knowledge and allow its wielder to snoop on everything from voice calls through location data to encrypted chat messages.

A spokesperson for NSO said it would conduct an independent investigation and cooperate with any government probe, as well as “immediately terminating” some customers’ access. There is no suggestion NSO conducted or knew about the hack.

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SOURCE: The Independent, Io Dodds