Islamabad [Pakistan], July 20 (ANI): The list of potential targets of the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware programme included at least one number once used by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to Washington Post.
The spyware 'Pegasus' is developed by Israel-based NSO Group. The company specialises in hacking devices and caters to various governments of the world for spying purposes.
According to Washington Post, more than 1,000 phone numbers in India appeared on the surveillance list while hundreds were from Pakistan, including the one Prime Minister Imran once used.
However, the Post did not reveal whether the surveillance attempt on PM Imran's number was successful.
Meanwhile, The Wire reported that 300 mobile phone numbers used in India -- including those of government ministers, opposition politicians, journalists, scientists and rights activists -- were on the list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology has refuted the reports of surveillance of journalists.
"The allegations regarding government surveillance on specific people has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever. In the past, similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp by the Indian State. Those reports also had no factual basis and were categorically denied by all parties, including WhatsApp in the Indian Supreme Court," the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology said in its response.
"This news report, thus, also appears to be a similar fishing expedition, based on conjectures and exaggerations to malign the Indian democracy and its institutions," the Ministry added.
According to The Wire, the leaked list was first accessed by France-based Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and later shared with The Wire and 15 other news organisations worldwide as part of a collaborative investigation named the 'Pegasus Project'.
Notably, the presence of a phone number in the list alone does not reveal whether a device was infected with Pegasus or subject to an attempted hack. But the Pegasus Project suggests potential targets for surveillance attempts. (ANI)