NSO’s Pegasus Spyware found in Canada and allegedly linked to Saudi Arabia

The Citizen Lab reported that a Canadian permanent resident and Saudi Arabian human rights activist was targeted by the NSO Groups’s Pegasus spyware technology in Quebec. Pegasus is a mobile phone spyware which is capable of reading passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls. The Citizen Lab suspected that this attack was operated by Saudi Arabia-linked Pegasus operator which could reportedly ‘amplify the dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia’, according to Ron Deibert, Director, The Citizen Lab. In September 2018, The Citizen Lab reported that the NSO Groups’s global proliferation signified a risk to human rights, and that Pegasus operators were linked to abusive use of spyware, targeting civil society in four MENA countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.