Al Jazeera Journalists Phones Hack by NSO’s Spyware

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Al Jazeera Journalists Phones Hack by NSO’s Spyware
Short Title Al Jazeera Journalists' iPhones Hacked Using Spyware From Israeli Security Company NSO Group
Location Global
Date December 2020

Taxonomy Interrogation
Information Communication, Computer Device
Threat Actors NSO Group

Affected Al Jazeera Journalists
High Risk Groups Journalist
Secondary Consequences

Sophisticated spyware was used to hack the phones of 36 Al Jazeera journalists. The hack could be traced back to software made by Israeli security company NSO Group.


In December 2020 journalists at news organization Al Jazeera were targeted by an iPhone hack that sent iMessages loaded with malware. The report from University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said the attack used the "Pegasus" software made by well-known Israeli security company NSO Group, although they denied any involvement.

The actions of the hackers can be seen as Interrogation, as they are probing journalists’ phones for information.

Citizen Lab said it believed the hack was ineffective against iPhones with the iOS 14 update, but that the scale of the hack prior to that update rolling out could be worryingly large.


Threat:Hackers probing journalists’ phones for personal information via spyware
At-Risk group: Al Jazeera journalists
Harm: Interrogation
Secondary Consequences: not known

Risk Statistics

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