SA devices infected with spyware devices
Publish date: 03 October 2018
Issue Number: 1752
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
Electronic devices infected with Pegasus, a notorious spyware programme sold only to governments, have been discovered in South Africa. The Mail & Guardian reports that the spyware, developed by Israeli cyber warfare firm NSO Group, has been used to target journalists and human rights activists across the world. In a report titled ‘Hide and Seek’ which was released on Monday, Citizen Lab – a Canadian-based Internet watchdog – identified 45 countries in which infected devices have been traced, after scanning the Internet for servers associated with the spyware. It also identified multiple instances of cross-border surveillance. Eleven other African countries – Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia – are on the list. In a statement, the NSO Group said its product is licensed to government and law enforcement agencies ‘for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crime and terror’ and ‘our business is conducted in strict compliance with applicable export control laws’.