Saturday, September 23

Vara: “When the president’s cell phone is illegally attacked, there should be unanimity in the responses”

Guillermo Fernandez Vara. / TODAY

Otherwise, the “policy of some is to divide”, the Extremaduran president has indicated after learning that Pedro Sánchez’s phone was infected with Pegasus

The president of the Junta de Extremadura has ruled on the espionage of Pedro Sánchez’s mobile through the Pegasus malware. Guillermo Fernández Vara maintains that when the cell phone of the Prime Minister is “illegally attacked” there should be “unanimity in the responses”, since the opposite indicates that the “policy of some is to divide”. Through a Twitter message he added that “the most divided societies become the weakest.”

The president of Extremadura spoke in this way after the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, announced on Monday that the telephone number of the President of the Government and that of the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, have been infected with Pegasus software.

In a surprise press conference called this Monday in Moncloa, Bolaños confirmed that the phones of President Pedro Sánchez and Minister Robles have been infected with Pegasus.

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“We are facing illegal and external infections,” said the minister. The two reports from the national cryptological center have been brought to the attention of the justice system so that it can initiate an investigation because, according to the Government, the espionage is “illicit”, since there was obviously no judicial authorization.

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Bolaños has indicated that the Government has brought to justice two technical reports from the National Cryptologic Center (CCN), attached to the National Intelligence Center (CNI), in which the facts are detailed.

For his part, the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, called it a “no minor political coincidence” that the information has been known just now. “It is surprising that today the agenda was interrupted with two ministers explaining that the head of the Government and the Minister of Defense could have been victims of wiretapping,” he indicated.

How does Pegasus work?

There are companies that offer espionage programs to various governments and agencies around the world in order to combat terrorism or search for missing persons. That’s precisely what tech tech NSO Group claims its Pegasus cyber espionage software does.

This controversial tool is in the spotlight after the alleged mass espionage network through mobile phones that would affect the main leaders of the ‘procés’ between 2017 and 2020, as well as leaders of other countries such as Macron, Boris Johnson or Mohammed SAW.

It is a malware with which it is possible to obtain all kinds of content from a mobile device such as contacts, messages, calls and files. You can record conversations and use the camera for the same purpose without the user being aware of it and even indicate the location or take screenshots.

Although its main novelty compared to traditional spy programs is that it does not require any user action to access the device. It infects the phone through a call or a message that leaves no trace. It is not even necessary to have answered the call or clicked on the link that is received. The phone becomes a 24-hour surveillance device and transmits the collected information to an external entity.

The phone does not slow down or consume more battery power, something that could previously alert the user that something strange was happening on their device.

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