European Commission leaders have also been spied on with Israeli spyware, insiders say. It’s unclear who’s behind it, but Apple has warned them they’ve been targeted by “attackers backed by other countries.”
The inquiry committee that the European Parliament has set up on the so-called Pegasus affair wants to investigate the matter, says research leader Sophie in ‘t Veld.
One of the victims is the Belgian European Commissioner Didier Reynders (Justice), according to documents that the Reuters news agency has obtained. There would be at least four others. Apple informed them in November that their iPhones were targeted. However, neither the commission nor the tech company would say whether the attacks were successful and what the attackers may have taken.
The Israeli maker of the Pegasus spy software denies involvement. An industry peer who supplies a similar product is silent.
A number of attacked phones have been investigated by the European Commission, Brussels sources told Reuters. It would not have become clear whether they were indeed affected.
Governments, including those of EU countries Poland and Hungary, have broken into the phones of tens of thousands of unsuspecting people using spyware from the Israeli company NSO, investigative journalists revealed last summer. Those of terrorists and criminals and those of political opponents and dissidents.
In ‘t Velds committee wants to expand the investigation with the new revelations. “Now, the European institutions are also the target of actors with strong espionage software at their disposal. This must be investigated to the bottom,” says the D66 MEP. In the first place, she wants to find out who had a hand in it because only then can it be seen to what extent “this affects the integrity of the entire EU”.