Macron talks to Bennett regarding Israeli malware infected his phone

11:31, 26 July 2021
Macron talks to Bennett regarding Israeli malware infected his phone Photo: Zheng Huansong/Xinhua/Global Look Press

The French President Emmanuel Macron has reportedly had a conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett regarding the Israeli investigation of French President Macron has been targeted with Israeli-created spyware by Morocco’s security services, the Times of Israel reported.

During the talk, Macron was anxious that his phone and his cabinet’s means of communication could have been infected with Pegasus, hacking software developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group. The spyware allows sending to the operators of the tool extracted messages, photos, emails following other data and covertly activates microphones from infected devices.

The President’s number has been put into the database of the Pegasus Project.

NSO gave an answer regarding Macron’s concerns saying that the President was not a ‘target’ of any of its customers, denying that Macron was selected for surveillance. The company also said that the appearance of Macron’s number in this list didn’t mean he was chosen to be spied.

The Pegasus project couldn’t scrutinize the mobile phones of the Presidents and diplomats, and couldn’t prove that there have been attempts made to install spyware on their devices.

The Macron-Bennett phone call took place reportedly on Thursday, but Israeli media shared it only on Saturday evening. The Prime Minister’s office has refused to comment on the phone call.

Politicians, whose numbers were leaked in the list:

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President; Emmanuel Macron, the French President; Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general; Saad Hariri, who resigned as Primi Minister of Lebanon; Charles Michel, the president of the European Council; King Mohammed VI of Morocco; Saadeddine Othmani, Morocco’s Prime Minister; Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan; Felipe Calderon of Mexico, the former President; Robert Malley, a longtime American diplomat.

 Previously several international media organizations reported that Pegasus spyware is being used to track and hack the phones of worldwide journalists, human rights activists, and governmental officials.

Pegasus is owned by NSO Group, an Israeli-based surveillance company. According to the firm, its services are used solely by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight crime and terror.