French President Emmanuel Macron has changed his mobile phone and phone number in response to the Pegasus spyware case, a French government official said on Thursday.
This is one of the first concrete measures announced in connection with the alleged spying of high-profile government officials.
Several international media organizations reported that Pegasus spyware was used to hack smartphones of journalists, human rights activists and government officials in several countries, causing global concern.
In Israel, the headquarters of Pegasus developer NSO Group, a senior lawmaker said a parliamentary panel would look into export restrictions on spying software. NSO says its software is used to fight crime and terrorism and has denied any wrongdoing.
Le Monde newspaper and broadcaster Radio France reported Tuesday that Macron’s phone was on a list of potential targets for surveillance by Morocco, with both media saying they had no access to Macron’s phone and could not verify whether his phone had actually been spied on.
Morocco strongly denied the allegations.
The NSO says it is unaware of the specific identities of people against whom customers use Pegasus.
If it receives a complaint that Pegasus has been abused by a customer, NSO can acquire the target lists retrospectively and, if the complaint turns out to be true, shut down that customer’s software, the company says.
Other leaders whose phone numbers were on a list of potential targets include Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.