People at a protest holding signs with the words "NSO: stop hacking activists"

Partner research update: new cases of Pegasus in Jordan and Togo

Recent research by Security Lab partner organisations, Access Now, Citizen Lab and Reporters Without Borders has demonstrated the continued use of the highly invasive spyware Pegasus. 

Between a hack and a hard place: how Pegasus spyware crushes civic space in Jordan 

A new investigation by Access Now, Citizen Lab, and local partners has uncovered the widespread use of Pegasus spyware in Jordan, targeting journalists, activists, civil society and human rights lawyers. 

Access Now’s report documents 35 victims of spyware, though targeting could be far more widespread. Victims included staff from Human Rights Watch, OCCRP and The National Forum for the Defense of Freedoms. The largest category of victims was journalists and media staff. 

The report “once again demonstrates how NSO Group enables state repression and facilitates human rights abuses around the world”. We need a complete ban on highly invasive spyware like Pegasus and accountability mechanisms for the victims of targeted surveillance. 

In addition to the report, Access Now has also published a technical brief. Amnesty International’s Security Lab contributed to the investigation with forensic tools and methodologies, and forensically identified five of the victims in collaboration with Human Rights Watch and OCCRP. 

In first for Togo, RSF identifies spyware on phones of two Togolese journalists 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has found traces of Pegasus spyware on the phones of two Togolese journalists currently on trial in a defamation case brought by a government minister. 

One of the journalists was subjected to a major cyber-espionage operation throughout the first half of 2021 when the Togolese government was a client of NSO Group. 

The findings of RSF’s technical analyses were independently confirmed by Amnesty International’s Security Lab.