Surveillance spyware infected SAR Geelani’s phone, probe reveals

Srinagar, July 19 (KMS): Delhi University teacher from occupied Jammu and Kashmir, SAR Geelani’s phone was infected by surveillance spyware for two years.

Geelani’s phone was infected with Israeli software, Pegasus that had sent him click-bait messages from an international number.

As per media reports, a forensic analysis of Geelani’s phone, an iPhone still preserved by his family, carried out in collaboration with Amnesty International’s Security Lab, confirms that the phone was compromised on and off for over two years.

Geelani was teaching Arabic at Delhi University and was arrested in the Parliament attack case. The Indian Supreme Court absolved him of all charges. He died of the cardiac arrest later but his family has preserved his phone. The revelations are based on a leaked list that French non-profit, Forbidden Stories, and Amnesty International’s Security Lab shared with the local and global media outlets.

Among others, these include 40 journalists across India whose phones were accessed by of the Israeli Pegasus software that takes away the data and gets access to the phone’s camera and microphone.

Delhi based Kashmiri journalist, Muzami Jaleel is also on the list of journalists whose phones had traces of the infection. The software turns the phones into surveillance devices by extracting photos, messages, locations, activating their microphone and camera to record them in real-time.

Pegasus is the new global weapon for silencing journalists as nearly 200 journalists around the world have been selected as targets by NSO clients, an investigation released by a global consortium of more than 80 journalists from 17 media outlets.

Pegasus is the hacking software – or spyware –developed, marketed, and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group with the capability to infect billions of phones running either iOS or Android operating systems.

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