Tuesday 18 January 2022 - 10:25

NSO Spyware Hacks Mobile Phones of Two Female Activists in Bahrain, Jordan

Story Code : 974260
NSO Spyware Hacks Mobile Phones of Two Female Activists in Bahrain, Jordan
An investigation by the human rights group Front Line Defenders [FLD] and the digital rights non-profit group Access Now found that the mobile phones of Ebtisam al-Saegh, a Bahraini human rights defender, and Hala Ahed Deeb, who works with human rights and feminist groups in Jordan, had been hacked using NSO’s Pegasus spyware.
Both women said the discoveries, which were confirmed by security researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, felt like life-changing violations of their privacy, underscoring how such attacks against women were “particularly grievous” given how sensitive information could be weaponized against them.
“Since they discovered their phones were infected, they have each been living in a state of daily anxiety and fear. They are especially afraid of the possibility of exposing other female activists and victims they work with, and concerned that their families and friends are now at risk,” FLD and Access Now said.
According to Citizen Lab’s analysis, al-Saegh’s mobile device was found to have been hacked at least eight times between August and November 2019 using NSO spyware.
It followed various incidents in which al-Saegh, who works for Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, was harassed by Bahraini authorities, including being summoned to a Muharraq police station, being interrogated, physically assaulted, and threatened with rape if she did not stop her activism, FLD and Access Now said.