Cyber ​​espionage: French President Emmanuel Macron on Pegasus software’s hit list

French President Emmanuel Macron he was one of the heads of state investigated by Morocco through the Pegasus system, a spyware purchased from an Israel company. Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the rich oil states of the Gulf have acquired it, especially to monitor government authorities, journalists, opponents, their families, and businessmen, including people who have been murdered in both countries.

The investigation was carried out by the newspaper The world and a group of 14 media from around the world, who did a “tracking” of all phone numbers included and spying scopes.

“According to an analysis of the data in our possession, the phone number of Emmanuel Macron was seized in March 2019 by an operator, within the Moroccan security services. The kingdom of Shereefian has been a customer of NSO Group, the Israeli company that markets Pegasus, for several years, and makes extensive use of this spyware, which is sold only to the states, “he wrote. The world.

According to data consulted by The world, Morocco has targeted more than ten thousand numbers, of which about 10% they are in France. The technical analysis of a phone, whose number appears next to Macron’s, has uncovered a trace identical to those found on the mobile phones of several Moroccan dissidents or journalists.

“In 2019, the numbers of the French head of state were selected, his prime minister and fourteen ministers on duty for a possible spyware surveillance ”, according to the revelations of the newspaper The world.

The Elysee palace said that “if the facts are true, they are obviously very serious. All light will be shed on these revelations ”when contacted by The world. “All the light will be shed on these press disclosures. Some French victims have already announced that they will file a complaint, for which judicial investigations will be launched. “

Elíseo added that “as far as they are concerned, the French intelligence services operate within a framework strictly defined by law since 2015. Each intelligence technique must be authorized, after consulting the National Commission for the Control of Intelligence Techniques. These techniques must comply with the imperatives of protecting our fundamental interests (fight against terrorism, counterintelligence, economic protection, etc.) and cannot in any case refer to surveillance of a political nature. At the same time, certain professions, including journalists and lawyers, are subject to special protection, ”they argued.

Macron loves his cell phones. For the French president, they are a working tool, a means of government and even a symbol of its modernity. Two iPhones unfold alongside him in his official portrait. In the video filmed in May with YouTubers McFly and Carlito, he is seen in the halls of the Elysée to call the footballer Kylian Mbappé.

But the use of these devices may have worked against him. One of the numbers of the President of the Republic, which he uses, according to our information, regularly since at least 2017, and until a few days ago, appears in the list of selected numbers by a Moroccan state security service ”wrote Le Monde.

The phone numbers belonging to Edouard Philippe, then Prime Minister, as well as fourteen other members of the government, they were also attacked.

The lists

These numbers are part of a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers, consulted by the organization Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, before being shared with sixteen media, including Le Monde, united in the “Pegasus Project”.

According to the analyzes carried out by the consortium of journalists and Amnesty, inclusion in this list means that a Pegasus client has taken an interest in her and have considered a possible infection.

The authenticity of this list and its connection to Pegasus spyware was remarkably established by analyzing several dozen phones on it. In the vast majority of cases, technical traces left by Pegasus have been found there, often within seconds of appearing on the corresponding phone number list.

Without having been able to examine the phone of the President of the Republic, it is not possible to say if he was infected with this spyware, one of the most sophisticated on the planet. Pegasus is as invisible as it is intrusive; only a precise technical analysis protocol, developed by a handful of experts, can detect traces a posteriori.

Disproved

In a statement sent to Project Pegasus on July 20, NSO says that Emmanuel Macron “has not been, and never been, a target or never been selected targeted by NSO customers. “

NSO does not specify on what basis its assertion. The company specifies that “you do not have access to your customers’ data, who however must provide this type of information ”to NSO in the event of an investigation.

Asked a little earlier in the National Assembly on Tuesday, July 20, Prime Minister Jean Castex indicated that “research”, which were “unsuccessful” at this stage, were “ordered” in the wake of these revelations.

According to data consulted by The world, Morocco has targeted more than ten thousand numbers, of which about 10% are in France. The technical analysis of a phone whose number appears next to Macron’s has uncovered a trace identical to those found on the mobile phones of several Moroccan dissidents or journalists.

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