Phones Spanish Prime Minister and Minister were infected with Pegasus spyware last year

The phones of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles were infected with the Pegasus spyware last year. As a result, a ‘considerable amount’ of data has been intercepted, the Spanish government says. It is not clear who is behind the hack.

According to the Spanish government, the spyware infections occurred in May and April last year. It is not clear who is behind the attack, but it is said to be “external actions” carried out by “unofficial agencies” and “without state approval”. Among other things, the NOS and The Guardian write about the press conference at which this was announced.

The announcement that the Prime Minister and Secretary of Defense have become a victim of the Pegasus spyware is striking, because the Pegasus spyware has been in the news in the country in recent weeks. In April revealed The Citizen Lab that between 2017 and 2020 at least 63 stakeholders of the Catalan independence movement were targeted by the Pegasus spyware.

The Israeli NSO Group is the maker of Pegasus and states that the spyware is only sold to governments. Partly for this reason, it was assumed that the Spanish government is behind the spyware attacks on the Catalans. However, the Spanish government denies this and now says that it is itself a victim of infections with the Pegasus spyware.