September 22, 2022

Boris Johnson’s computer network ‘hacked with world’s most powerful cyber weapon that tracks messages for major breaches’

BORIS Johnson’s computer network was targeted by the world’s most powerful cyber weapon in a shocking security breach, researchers have claimed.

Pegasus military-grade spyware can film users through their device’s camera, record conversations, listen in on calls, and send messages.

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Boris Johnson’s computer network was targeted, researchers sayCredit: Getty

The cyber boffins claimed that the software was discovered on a device using the Number 10 network on July 7, 2020.

They said a similar breach also occurred at the Foreign Ministry.

The hackers were linked to the United Arab Emirates, India, Cyprus and Jordan, according to a New Yorker investigation.

Several Downing Street devices were tested – including Mr Johnson’s – but officials could not establish which device was infected, he added.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly what the hackers might have had access to, but they suspect some information was taken.

John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, said his “jaw dropped” when he discovered the cyberattack.

He said the UK had been “spectacularly burned” after “underestimating the threat of Pegasus”.

The software could have been added to devices overseas “using foreign SIM cards”, scientists have suggested.

A government spokesman said they do not comment on security issues.

Pegasus is military-grade software – which can be secretly downloaded to a smartphone or device – and has been around since 2016.

What is Pegasus Spyware?

Pegasus is a military-grade software designed in 2016 that can be secretly downloaded to a smartphone or device.

It was designed by Israeli company NSO Group – also called Q Cyber ​​Technologies – and promised to crack encrypted messages on iPhones and Androids.

Spyware can film you through your phone’s camera, listen to calls, and track and send messages from your phone.

It is known to have targeted both Apple and Android devices.

Pegasus was once installed on smartphones by encouraging victims to click on a link that may have been sent to them via email or text message.

But a new version of spyware can load onto a phone without the user having to click anything.

In January, details of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s purchase of Pegasus were revealed.

Employees “bought new smartphones from local stores and set them up with fictitious accounts, using SIM cards from other countries” – because Pegasus couldn’t hack US devices.

As U.S. attorneys debated the pros and cons of buying the software, the FBI renewed the contract for the Pegasus system and reportedly “inflated the costs to NSO by approximately $5 million”.

According to a report, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Secret Service and the US military have also had discussions with the Israeli spyware company.

It was designed by the Israeli company NSO Group – also called Q Cyber ​​Technologies.

The spy software can film you through your phone’s camera, listen to calls and send messages.

Scientists also fear it could be used to determine where someone is and who they have met.

It is known to have targeted both Apple and Android devices.

Pegasus – which evades detection using anti-virus software – was once installed on smartphones by tricking victims into clicking on a link.

But a newer version of spyware can load onto a phone without the user having to click anything.

Several Downing Street devices were tested - including Mr Johnson's, probe found

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Several Downing Street devices were tested – including Mr Johnson’s, probe foundCredit: Reuters
Pegasus was designed by Israeli company NSO Group (stock image)

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Pegasus was designed by Israeli company NSO Group (stock image)Credit: AFP


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