Three European countries questioned after hacking clues to the European Commission

The European Commission has found “clues” suggesting the hacking of its employees by the Pegasus spyware. Three European countries were questioned on this subject.

Among those targeted by hacking attempts, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, who claimed to have received an alert from Apple in November 2021 informing him of the possible hacking of his smartphone by the Pegasus software, designed by the Israeli company NSO. Group.

This notification, other members of the European Commission claimed to have received it as well. “Several device checks have led to the discovery of hacking evidence,” says a letter to MEP Sophie in’t Veld, rapporteur for the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into the use of Pegasus and devices. other spyware against journalists, politicians or civil society actors.

The content of the letter adds that “it is impossible to attribute these clues to a specific author with certainty”.

The letter dated July 25 and which Afp was able to see, indicates that an investigation has been opened in this direction, but that it did not “confirm that Pegasus had succeeded in infecting the devices, personal or professional, of the Commissioner’ to Justice, for the time being. The investigation is still continuing.

The parent company of the Pegasus software, the Israeli company NSO, indicated for its part that it was ready to “cooperate with any investigation to establish the truth”, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Three countries were contacted by mail by the Commission, they are Hungary and Poland and Spain. The Commission expressed concern about their use of the Pegasus software, citing compliance with European rules on the protection of privacy.

Two countries responded, Hungary and Poland, explaining that the use of this software was a matter of “national security” and not of European legislation.

Another European country may be added to the list of confirmed European countries using Pegasus software or similar spyware. This is the case of Greece where a Greek MEP and leader of the socialist opposition party, Nikos Androulakis, filed a complaint this week with the Greek Supreme Court for an “attempt” to spy on his phone by Predator, a spyware similar to Pegasus.

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