The Pegasus spyware and the Israeli surveillance company, NSO Group behind it, has stirred up quite a huge controversy across the world, after the allegations that the governments in many countries are using it to keep tabs on journalists and activists, among others, arose. And now, the fact that Amazon Web Services has said that it has shut down all infrastructure and accounts linked to the NSO Group. The news was first reported by Motherboard, which received a statement to the effect from AWS, which serves as Amazon’s Cloud arm.
In the statement, a spokesperson for the firm said that they took quick action to close down “the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” as soon as they received information about the activity.
Pegasus Used Amazon Cloud
This move by Amazon comes in the wake of reports that Pegasus, which is a military-grade spyware developed by the Israeli company. Reports that have recently emerged claim that many world governments have been making use of the product to snoop around and keep tabs on over 50,000 people across 50 countries.
The reports in question have come forth following a probe into the matter carried out a number (17 in total) of big news platforms, which was backed by French organization Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International. The study had concluded that Pegasus had actually been implicated in compromising the data of many iPhone and Android users, and had been sharing the information extracted with its clients through commercial networks, including Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Web Services.
Those Affected and Those Implicated
Infection with the spyware allowed operators to gain access to messages, photos, and even emails, while also recording calls and other conversations by secretly activating microphones on the affected devices. Following this, Amazon announced that it as shut down all infrastructure and accounts linked to NSO Group.
Victims of the spyware included people from multiple walks of life, from journalists and human rights activists, to lawyers. The reason have been implicated towards so-called “authoritarian governments” teaming up with NSO Group and using Pegasus in a bid to silence any dissent among the masses. However, the firm has staunchly rejected these allegations, saying that its tool is used only against terrorists and other criminals.
The consortium carried out an in-depth analysis in order to identify the people who had been affected by the spyware, and claim that governments from at least 10 countries have been interacting with the Israeli company, namely, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, India, Hungary, Morocco, Bahrain, Mexico, Rwanda, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia.
Source: National Herald