Due to the suspicion of infiltration by spyware, President Emmanuel Macron changed the phone model and its number – the Elysée Palace said. It was reported that the security procedures will also be modified as a result. On Tuesday, the media reported that Macron was on the target of Pegasus spyware.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Thursday that France would modify security procedures to protect the president from cyber attacks. The Elysée Palace also said that the president changed the phone model and number due to suspected infiltration by spyware.
On Thursday morning, Macron gathered a security council to understand the findings of the Pegasus investigation.
“Investigations are ongoing and the security board has informed us of the progress of these investigations,” Attal said in an interview with BFMTV. He added that “certain security protocols regarding the President of the Republic have been modified.” In addition, the government promised technical assistance to those who were potential targets for Pegasus infiltration.
Macron’s mobile number
On Tuesday, the daily “Le Monde” wrote that in 2019 Macron’s mobile number and the telephones of 14 ministers in office at the time, as well as the then Prime Minister Edourd Philippe, were selected for possible surveillance using Pegasus, and the Moroccan authorities were to commission the infiltration.
Pegasus investigation. 50,000 numbers analyzed
The journalistic organization Forbidden Stories was the first to investigate the use of spyware created in Israel.
The numbers of the president and members of the French government have been included in the list of 50,000 numbers that have been analyzed in an investigation by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International. In most cases, technical analysis showed that these numbers were “infected” by Pegasus shortly after being on the list. Sometimes it only took a few seconds.
According to an investigation by a journalistic consortium released on Sunday, the Pegasus software tracked at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders from different countries.
With the help of the Pegasus software, you can not only eavesdrop on conversations from an infected smartphone, but also gain access to other data stored in it, e.g. e-mails, photos or videos.
The Hungarian Central Investigation Prosecutor’s Office also informed about the initiation of an investigation into illegal, secret data collection using the Pegasus software. Several reports of possible criminal offenses have also been received in Hungary.
Pegasus and the Polish services
About the The Pegasus system could also be used by the Polish services we wrote in previous years. In 2018, on the tvn24.pl portal, we revealed that the Central Anticorruption Bureau received money from the Justice Fund, which is the responsibility of the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, and allocated it to the purchase of the most modern telephone and computer surveillance system.
In 2019 reporters of the program “Black on the White” determined that the system bought by the anti-corruption service was probably the Israeli Pegasus. – It is a tool for very strictly targeted attacks – explained then in an interview with “Black and White” Adam Haertle from the Trusted Third Party portal.
Main photo source: LUDOVIC MARIN / PAP / EPA