A report by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab has unearthed a "major espionage operation" in which spyware was used to "hack" the phones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists.
According to the report, the spyware was sold by an Israeli private intelligence firm, the NSO Group. The cyber-attack was "likely to have been ordered by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates", the Guardian reported.
According to AP, Citizen Lab said it "traced malware that infected the personal phones of 36 journalists, producers, anchors and executives at Al Jazeera back to the Israel-based NSO Group, which has been widely condemned for selling spyware to repressive governments".
AP noted that the NSO Group's spyware was "implicated in the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi" in 2018. It quoted Bill Marczak, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, as saying: "It's not only very scary, but it's the holy grail of phone hacking."
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