Cybersecurity Group Says Catalan Leaders Targeted With Spyware
April 18, 2022
A group of Catalan separatists, including several members of the
European Parliament, other politicians, lawyers and activists from
Spain’s northeastern region, had their phones hacked with a
controversial spyware called Pegasus, a cybersecurity firm said Monday.
Citizens Lab, which is associated with the University of Toronto, said
at least 65 people were targeted using the Israeli-made software that is
only available to governments.
The maker of the software, NSO, said the allegations were “false.”
spyware infections allegedly took place between 2017 and 2020 after a
failed Catalan independence bid.
The movement for an independent Catalonia dates back more than a century
and has been a problem for Spain’s central government. Catalonia enjoys
some regional autonomy under the Spanish constitution.
Citizens Lab said it could not pinpoint the source of the hacking but
said on its website that “a range of circumstantial evidence points to a
strong nexus with one or more entities within the Spanish government.”
The Spanish government declined a request for comment by Reuters.
On Twitter, Catalonian government President Pere Aragones called the
hacks an “unjustifiable disgrace.”