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Pegasus row: Amazon shuts down infrastructure and accounts linked to NSO

The move comes a day after a global collaborative investigative project revealed that Pegasus spyware targeted people in several countries, including over 300 mobile phone numbers in India.

Gujarat amazon digital kendraThe vast majority of Amazon's 1.2 million-person global workforce is still expected to show up on-site to pack boxes, sort merchandise and load and unload trucks at Amazon warehouses. (Reuters/Representative Image)

The infrastructure and accounts linked to NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance firm that sells the spyware Pegasus, has been shut down by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Vice reported quoting Amazon as saying in a statement.

The move comes a day after a global collaborative investigative project revealed that Pegasus spyware targeted people in several countries, including over 300 mobile phone numbers in India.

“When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” an AWS spokesperson told Motherboard.

The targets in India include two serving ministers in the Narendra Modi government, three Opposition leaders, one constitutional authority, several journalists and business persons.

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The Wire, a digital news platform, which is part of the collaboration, reported Sunday that the leaked global database of 50,000 telephone numbers was first accessed by French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, and then shared with 16 media partners: The Guardian, Washington Post, Le Monde, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and 11 other Arab and European organisations.

The report had stated that Pegasus malware sent information from the infected phone “to a service fronted by Amazon CloudFront,” Vice stated in its report.

CloudFront is a content delivery network by Amazon. It “securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment,” the official website states.

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Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday lashed out at the opposition Congress and international organisations for suggesting that the government was involved in surveillance of phones of politicians, journalists and others, saying such “obstructers” and “disrupters” will not be able to derail India’s development trajectory with their conspiracies.

“This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers. Disrupters are global organisations that do not like India to progress. Obstructers are political players in India who do not want India to progress. People of India are very good at understanding this chronology and connection,” Shah said.

First published on: 19-07-2021 at 09:40:04 pm
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