Spanish revealed that the phones of two state officials, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles, had been intercepted by spyware Pegasus.
The second phone infection is said to have occurred in the last year.
“This is not conjecture, it is a fact of great gravity,” said Presidential Minister Felix Bolanos. AFPMonday (2/5).
“We absolutely believe that it was an external attack… because in Spain, in a democracy like ours, such an intervention is carried out by an official body and with judicial authorization,” he said.
Bolanos said he wanted this incident to be investigated by the court. He did not say, however, whether Spain had any indication of where the attack came from and who the supporters were.
Sanchez’s phone is said to have been tapped by Bolanos in May 2021 while Robles’ phone was tapped in June 2021.
He said that some of the targeted data had been extracted from the two phones.
“There is no evidence that there were other eavesdropping after that date,” Bolanos said.
The El Pais newspaper revealed that hackers had taken 2.6 GB of information from Sanchez’s phone and 9 GB of information from Robles’ phone. The government so far does not know the basis of the theft and how sensitive the data is.
The tapped cell phone is provided by the state, not private property.
Pegasus is a spyware owned by the Israel-based NSO Group. They claim to only sell the software to government agencies to target terrorists and get the approval of the Israeli government.
Pegasus can infiltrate the phone then activate the camera or microphone and send data to a specific location.
The NSO Group has been criticized for violating privacy around the world and is facing accusations from tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft.
Amnesty International revealed that Pegasus had been used to tap 50,000 cell phones worldwide.