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Priyanka Gandhi Was Also Spied

Congress alleged that its  leader Priyanka Gandhi was also hacked through WhatsApp with the Israeli spyware Pegasus.

party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Gandhi had received a message from the Facebook-owned messaging platform informing her that her phone could also have been targeted with the snooping software at the same time that other users in India were notified

I want to tell that Priyanka Gandhi also received a similar message from WhatsApp around the same time,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, responding to a question about Praful Patel and Mamata Banerjee receiving messages from the Facebook-owned messaging platform.

On Thursday, reports had revealed that several members of the civil society in India have been the target of surveillance through a spyware, Pegasus, which was developed by an Israeli cyber intelligence firm, NSO Group. Pegasus was used to target around 1,400 users globally during a two-week period in May.

So far, 17 people, mostly lawyers, human rights activists, and journalists, have confirmed that they were targeted by spyware through WhatsApp.

Sources told that after she received the message warning her that her phone was suspected to have been targeted, Gandhi did not think much of the message and deleted it. The messages alerting the users were sent out by Citizen Lab, a Canada-based cyber security group that is assisting WhatsApp in investigating the spyware attack.

After the controversy erupted this past week when, the Congress communication team, the sources said, asked Gandhi about it and sent a copy of messages received by activists reportedly targeted, to which she confirmed that she had received similar messages. Gandhi, they added, says she also received calls from international numbers around that time but hadn’t answered them.

The Congress spokesperson blamed the ruling BJP of targeting opposition leaders with the snooping software, and said that the party suspects that many senior politicians and judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts have also been spied on.

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