Dubai princess’ quantity on Pegasus spyware and adware checklist

The telephone variety of Emirati Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler who has accused her household of holding her in opposition to her will, appeared on a leaked checklist of greater than 50,000 numbers that had been reportedly chosen as potential targets by purchasers of NSO Group. Some of the princess’ associates numbers had been additionally on the checklist. 

The Israeli cybersurveillance agency is beneath hearth after a sweeping joint investigation revealed by 17 media shops revealed that the smartphones of journalists, politicians, activists and even heads of state might have been hacked by NSO Group’s Pegasus software program, which researchers say provides customers entry to a telephone’s contents and the flexibility to remotely entry its digital camera and microphone.

Research from Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto’s digital watchdog that collaborated on the investigation, signifies the United Arab Emirates was a shopper of NSO Group when Latifa tried to flee in 2018. 

The whereabouts and well-being of Latifa, the daughter of Emirati Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stay a thriller. Earlier this 12 months, the BBC’s “Panorama” program aired a sequence of movies throughout which Latifa claimed to be held “hostage” by her household with out entry to medical assist or the flexibility to get recent air. 

After the Emirati authorities stated in February the princess was being “cared for at home,” a picture surfaced in June on social media that appeared to indicate Latifa on trip in Spain. In May, she was additionally photographed at a mall in Dubai. The marketing campaign for her launch has been suspended.

She hadn’t been seen publicly since her failed escape from the UAE in February 2018. Latifa had hoped to hunt asylum within the United States by crossing into Oman and crusing throughout the Indian Ocean on a US-flagged yacht to India, and from there she would board a flight for the United States. But simply over per week into her escape, the ship was intercepted in worldwide waters by Indian commandos and Emirati particular forces, who forcibly returned Latifa to Dubai. 

According to The Washington Post, Latifa’s telephone quantity and people of her associates appeared on the checklist within the hours and days after she went lacking. The leaked data present that Latifa and her pal Tiina Jauhiainen had already ditched their telephones in Dubai and had run away by the point their numbers confirmed up on the checklist. The Post notes that with out analyzing Latifa’s telephone, it’s unattainable to know whether or not it was efficiently surveilled utilizing the Pegasus spyware and adware.  

NSO Group stated in an announcement the numbers on the checklist are usually not these of targets or potential targets and that “repeated reliance on this list and association of the people on this list as potential surveillance targets is false and misleading.”

The investigation additionally confirmed the telephone numbers of Princess Haya and her associates had been added to the checklist in early 2019. The youngest of Sheikh Mohammed’s six wives, Princess Haya fled to London with the couple’s two younger kids in April 2019 after reportedly fearing for her life in Dubai.

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