The Central Investigation Prosecutor’s Office has announced that an investigation has been initiated in Hungary into illegal, secret data collection using Pegasus – spyware that can be installed on mobile devices.
The task of the investigation, which began after receiving several reports about the possibility of a crime, is to determine whether there has been a breach of the law.
An investigation by a media consortium led by the French journalist Forbidden Stories revealed that using spyware called Pegasus sold by the Israeli company NSO Group, the digital devices of a number of people were infiltrated in Hungary, including at least 10 lawyers, 5 journalists and 1 opposition politician.
The consortium analyzed a list of 50,000 phone numbers that NSO Group customers could select for Pegasus surveillance. This list includes the phone numbers of at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 CEOs from around the world.
Using the Pegasus software, you can not only eavesdrop on conversations from an infected smartphone, but also gain access to other data stored in it, such as e-mails, photos or videos. The NSO Group may only sell Pegasus overseas with the approval of the Israeli Defense Ministry.
Minister of the Interior Hungarian Sandor Pinter assured on Tuesday that the Hungarian security services have not conducted illegal surveillance since May 29, 2010, i.e. since Fidesz took power. He added that this was confirmed by the results of the inspection.
Material “Black and white: Pegasus software
Main photo source: TVN24