Warsaw’s use of the controversial Israeli spyware on three government critics is probably just the start, according to one researcher

A cyber expert at security watchdog Citizen Lab has said there are probably more discoveries to come following the allegations that Poland’s government spied on three of its fiercest critics.

Speaking to AFP on Wednesday, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Canada-based cybersecurity watchdog Citizen Lab said that Poland’s use of the Pegasus spyware “looks very bad.” 

The Israeli spyware came to light in July following an investigation led by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media non-profit, in collaboration with Amnesty International and 17 media organizations.

Some 50,000 phones had been illegally accessed using the malware, made by the NSO Group. Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE were among the 11 countries in which potential clients were identified.

Scott-Railton believes the allegations that the Pegasus spyware was used against three Polish government opponents are just the “tip of the iceberg,” and that there is much more to come.

In a scandal dubbed by local media as “Polish Watergate,” it is alleged that the government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spied on Krzysztof Brejza, a member of the Civic Platform party, who coordinated its 2019 election campaign; and Roman Giertych, a lawyer involved in cases against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. 

READ MORE:
Space colonists may turn to cannibalism, scientists warn

It is also alleged that prosecutor and opposition figure Ewa Wrzosek was snooped upon. The allegations were made by Citizen Lab.

“Pegasus is a tool of dictators. Its use in these cases point to an authoritarian slide,” Scott-Railton added.

The Israeli software, which was found on the smartphones of the three individuals, grants the user the ability to read messages, look through photos, track the target’s location, and even switch on the camera without the knowledge of the phone’s owner.

You can share this story on social media:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.