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Amazon Shuts Down Cloud Infrastructure Linked to Israel’s NSO Following Pegasus Spyware Controversy: Report

Pegasus was intended only for use by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime, NSO said.

Amazon Shuts Down Cloud Infrastructure Linked to Israel’s NSO Following Pegasus Spyware Controversy: Report

Amazon did not immediately clarify if the accounts were related to NSO Group

Highlights
  • Pegasus spyware was used in attempted, successful hacks of 37 smartphones
  • Amazon acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure
  • NSO denied the report

Amazon's cloud service, Amazon Web Services, has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group, as per a report by Vice.

NSO Group's Pegasus spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials, and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organisations published on Sunday.

NSO denied the report and said its product was intended only for use by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime.

"When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

Amazon did not immediately clarify if the accounts were related to NSO Group.

From a list of more than 50,000 cellphone numbers obtained by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International and shared with 16 news organisations, journalists were able to identify more than 1,000 individuals in 50 countries who were allegedly selected by NSO clients for potential surveillance.

They include 189 journalists, more than 600 politicians, and government officials, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, and several heads of state, according to The Washington Post, a consortium member. The journalists work for organisations including The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, and The Financial Times.


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