London, July 15 (IANS) Several politicians in Spain were among those who became targets of surveillance carried out with the help of Israeli company NSO Group’s spyware, according to a joint investigation by The Guardian and El Pais.
The use of NSO Group’s spyware Pegasus created a storm last year after 1,400 WhatsApp users reportedly became targets of snooping, including 121 Indians.
But at that time, it was not known that politicians in Spain were also targets.
The NSO Group, which sells its spyware to governments apparently to help them keep track of terrorists and criminals, exploited a previous vulnerability in WhatsApp.
Facebook later sued the company, alleging that the NSO Group violated laws including the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The joint investigation by the Guardian and El Pais revealed this week that the Catalan regional parliament’s Speaker Roger Torrent was among those whose cellphones were targeted with spyware.
Researchers working with WhatsApp warned Torrent about the targeting.
A source-based report in Motherboard on Wednesday said that the Spanish government has been an NSO customer since 2015.