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A day after, an expose by a global consortium of media houses announced that Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was purportedly employed to bug 300 mobile phone numbers in India. The name includes former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, two ministers in the Narendra Modi Council of Ministers, and political strategist Prashant Kishor.

The expose reported 40 Indian journalists and activists whose phones were supposedly tapped and put on surveillance applying Israeli spy software.

According to the report, this is the list of political leaders and serving Union ministers whose phones were purportedly likely surveillance targets, some of which were successfully snooped upon.

1. Rahul Gandhi, former Congress president

2. Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Minister for Railways, IT and Communications, and his wife

3. Prahlad Singh Patel, Union MoS Jal Shakti. (List also includes his wife, 15 of his close associates including private secretaries, political and office associates, his cook and gardener)

4. Prashant Kishor, election strategist

5. Ashok Lavasa, former election commissioner

6. Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP and national general secretary of the party

7. Gagandeep Kang, top scientist and virologist

8. Hari Menon, India head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

9. Jagdeep Chokhar, head of Association of Democratic Reforms

10. Alankar Sawai, a close aide of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

11. Sachin Rao, member of Congress Working Committee

12. Pradeep Awasthi, personal secretary to former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje (when she was the CM)

13. Sanjay Kachru, Union minister Smriti Irani’s OSD during 2014-15

14. Pravin Togadia, former international working president of VHP

What Is Pegasus?

Pegasus is a sort of malicious software or malware categorised as spyware. Spyware such as Pegasus is intended to obtain access to your device without your awareness, another personal data and deliver it back to whoever practices the software to spy on you.

According to a statement, Pegasus is “the ultimate spyware for iOS and Android” and has been behind the “most sophisticated attack ever seen.”

By Aadvi

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