NSO Group, the maker of spyware Pegasus, is now under scrutiny when a fake image file was discovered in a reporter’s iPhone.
In July 2021, a report said that the Pegasus spyware was used to hack multiple iPhones from around the globe. In particular, phones that belonged to activists, reporters and point of interest individuals were compromised.
Recently, a fake image file was found this year. Reuters said that the iPhone belonging to Loujain al-Hathloul’s iPhone contained a file that proved the spyware’s existence. In February she received a notification that her Gmail account was being targeted by state-sponsored hackers; al-Hathoul then immediately sent her iPhone to Citizen Lab to be checked.
The file was found to have ties to the Pegasus spyware. This discovery proved to be a ‘game-changer’ according to Bill Marczak, a Citizen Lab researcher. It’s used by Apple as a blueprint to determine which devices were compromised- thousands of users then received the notification as a result.