September 30, 2022

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Two princesses spy with Pegasus software

Two princesses have escaped from the ruler of Dubai. They were then marked as potential ONS spyware targets.

Princess Latifa fled to her father the Emirate of Dubai in 2018; Princess Haya, one of his wives and half-sister of the King of Jordan, has left him. According to the Washington Post, both were selected as potential ONS targets.

The International Project Pegasus investigation on Wednesday revealed that two members of the Dubai royal family have been selected as potential targets for spyware produced by the Israeli internet spy agency NSO Group.

These revelations are part of a global investigation called Project Pegasus based on the leak of about 50,000 issues selected by NSO clients as potential targets for Pegasus spyware.

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The investigation into the leaked phone numbers led to the numbers of Princess Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum and Princess Haya Bint Hussein, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai and the sixth wife and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Mohammed al-Rashid, respectively.

Other phone numbers belonging to their friends and associates were also found in the database.

Princess Latifa fled her father in 2018 in a charter boat in the United Arab Emirates. He was eventually rescued from the Indian coast and brought back to Dubai. The princess was said to have been treated inhumanely by her father, including being beaten and imprisoned in solitary confinement.

An NSO lawyer told the Washington Post that “the form does not have an overview of its clients’ specific intelligence activities.” “

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An official who spoke to the Washington Post said the NSO had cut ties with the United Arab Emirates later this year.

Earlier reports linked his capture to Israeli internet spy agencies. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Intelligence and The Guardian reported that the private Israeli intelligence agency Razon Group had exploited a hole in the global mobile phone network to track down the princess.

According to the investigation, Razon leased access to a vague global news organization in the Channel Islands, which allowed cell phone users around the world to “geolocate”, including Princess Latifa. After he tried to escape from his father. Razon’s team has denied any involvement in the search for the princess.

The Washington Post investigation on Wednesday found that NSO technology was also used against the princess.

According to the newspaper’s findings, it is not possible to determine what role NSO’s spyware played in his actual capture.

Princess Latifa reports that she dropped her phone at a Dubai hotel before fleeing the Emirates. However, numbers related to his personal assistant and others around him, as well as the number of temporary phones he used on his departure boat, were on the list of possible targets, the report said.

The report said the Dubai ruler ‘s daughter was not the only one targeted when she tried to flee: Princess Haya, his sixth wife, who was separated from him, was chosen as a potential target. Princess Haya is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife, Queen Alia. The current ruler of Jordan, King Abdullah II, is his half-brother. She married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004. The couple has two children (Sheikh is said to have about 25 children from his different wives). In 2019, he fled Dubai to London and held a position at the Jordanian Embassy.

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According to the Washington Post, after leaving the United Arab Emirates, the ONS organization received the numbers of “Princess Haya, her half-sister, her assistant, and her horse trainer.” [c’est une passionnée d’équitation] And members of its legal and security committees. The report notes that these numbers were selected as targets in early 2019 “in the days and weeks prior to his flight from Dubai”.

Prohibited Stories (Paris-based non-profit press association) and Amnesty International allowed NSO customers to access the leaked list of phone numbers selected for surveillance. The leak was reported to Haaretz and 16 other news organizations who have been working together in recent months to carry out additional analysis and reporting to develop the project. Prohibited Stories oversaw the investigation and Amnesty International provided forensic analysis and technical support.

According to the analysis of these files, more than 180 journalists were selected by at least 12 INS clients in 21 countries. Possible targets include heads of state such as Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and Pakistani Imran Khan, while clients come from Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, Hungary, ‘Azerbaijan, Togo and Rwanda.

Earlier this week the NSO released a response to the Project Pegasus investigation, calling the leak an “international conspiracy.”

“The Prohibited Stories report is riddled with unsubstantiated theories that raise serious doubts about the credibility and veracity of the flawed assumptions and sources.

“The numbers on the list are unrelated to the NSO Group – never – they are fabricated information. This is not a list of NSO customer targets or potential targets.

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Amnesty International’s security lab conducted forensic analysis of cell phones targeting Pegasus. Its findings coincide with previous analyzes of NSO spyware targeted, including dozens of journalists allegedly hacked in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and identified by Citizen Labs last December.

Harretz, 21/07/2021

Tags: Dubai, Princess Haya of Jordan, Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, Pegasus, spy,