Mexico City: Amazon.com’s cloud service, Amazon Web Services, has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group, US media group Vice reported on Monday (Tuesday AEST).
NSO Group’s 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.
Journalists at Al Jazeera have been targeted by the advanced spyware.Credit:AP
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.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s inner circle, Mexican politicians, dissidents and journalists were potential targets for surveillance by a government client of the Israeli spyware company NSO Group, The Guardian reported on Monday.
At least 50 people close to Lopez Obrador were potentially targeted between 2016 and 2017 ahead of his election in 2018, including his wife, children and siblings, The Guardian said.
The Guardian’s reporting is based on what the newspaper and others have said was a leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers it said were selected for possible surveillance by NSO Group’s government clients around the world.
The list, first accessed by the French nonprofit journalist outlet Forbidden Stories and advocacy group Amnesty International, was shared with The Guardian and more than a dozen other news outlets.
Israel’s NSO Group has been widely condemned for selling surveillance tools to repressive governments.Credit:AP
Reuters could not independently confirm the existence of the data leak or its contents.
NSO Group rejected the reports of a data leak.
“This is not a list related to NSO Group, and NSO does not have any target lists. The ‘list’ is derived from services such as HLR Lookup, which is open and free to anyone online,” NSO Group said in a statement.
“NSO Group will continue to investigate all credible claims of misuse and take appropriate action based on the results of these investigations.”
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