Has Morocco spied on French President Emmanuel Macron with Pegasus?

Has Morocco spied on French President Emmanuel Macron with Pegasus?

According to the newspaper Le Monde, the Moroccan secret services have used Pegasus spyware to monitor one of the telephone numbers of the President of France

Emmanuel Macron (photo: Nicolas Messyasz / Sipa) French President Emmanuel too Macron may have been the victim of the Pegasus spyware, a malware that can infect smartphones and extract emails, chats, images, record phone calls and turn on microphones and cameras at any time. According to the newspaper Le Monde, one of the president's telephone numbers was put under surveillance by the secret services of Morocco through the espionage product provided by the Israeli company Nso, whose alleged illicit uses have been exposed in recent days by an investigation. conducted by 17 international media.

"Emmanuel Macron loves his mobile phones" reads Le Monde "for the French president, they are a work tool, a means of government and also a symbol of his modernity" however "the use of these devices may have backfired on him." According to the sources reached by the newspaper, in fact, a telephone number that Macron has been using since 2017 appeared on the list of numbers selected by the Moroccan secret services, users of the Pegasus spy software, for a potential cyber attack. Le Monde reports that the phones of former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and 14 other members of the government were also targeted.

Morocco issued a statement denying any involvement in the use of Pegasus, rejecting what it called "false and unfounded allegations", while L'Eliseo promised to shed light on these "very serious" revelations if they will be tried. Although Le Monde was unable to access Macron's phone and thus verify if he had actually been monitored, he was able to check other numbers such as that of former environment minister Francois de Rugy, finding evidence of espionage.

The investigation

On Sunday, July 18, 17 international media led by the Paris-based non-profit journalistic group Forbidden Stories published an investigation according to which Pegasus spyware was used to access smartphones of journalists, government officials and human rights activists from around the world. Israeli surveillance company Nso, which manufactures and sells spyware, has dismissed media allegations as "full of misconceptions and unsubstantiated theories," arguing that its product is only allowed to governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime. Questioned by Reuters on the affair involving Macron, Nso spokespersons have not yet released any official statement.

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