Telegram CEO’s Number Found on List of Potential NSO Spyware Targets

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Telegram CEO’s Number Found on List of Potential NSO Spyware Targets
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Pavel Durov, CEO and co-founder of chat platform Telegram, is the latest person to be swept up in the ongoing scandal involving the NSO Group.

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The Guardian reports that Durov’s number was recently identified in a leaked list of some 50,000 cell phone records that researchers say represent “potential surveillance targets” of NSO’s Pegasus spyware, implying that one of the company’s customers may have been spying on him.

That list was recently shared with news outlets by Amnesty International and the French non-profit Forbidden Stories and has served as the basis for a broad investigation into the Israeli surveillance firm’s business practices. It has included the phone numbers of presidents, former prime ministers, and a king, as well as journalists, lawyers, and political activists. The ultimate source of the data has not been publicly disclosed.

So far, it’s unclear why Durov would be a target for surveillance—and it is unconfirmed that he is. However, The Guardian reported that the businessman was added to the list not long after he officially changed his residence from Finland to the United Arab Emirates—a reported NSO client. The outlet subsequently theorizes that it may have been a case of the UAE government “attempting to run checks on their controversial new resident.”

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