When Pegasus spied on Armenians

A joint investigation between Access Now, CyberHUB-AMthe Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto (the Citizen Lab), Amnesty International’s Security Lab, and an independent mobile security researcher Ruben Muradyan, has uncovered hacking of civil society victims in Armenia with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The Armenia spyware victims include a former Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia (the Ombudsperson), two Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Armenian Service journalists, a United Nations official, a former spokesperson of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry (now an NGO worker), and seven other representatives of Armenian civil society. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the targeting is related to the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (also referred to as the Republic of Artsakh in Armenia) between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This is the first documented evidence of the use of Pegasus spyware in an international war context.

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