Several senior European Union (EU) officials were reportedly targeted with Pegasus spyware last year.

Among those targeted were European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and at least four other commission staff.

Reuters has said that it was notified of the claims by two EU officials and documentation it had reviewed.

The EU commission reportedly became aware of staff being targeted by Pegasus spyware in November 2021, when tech giant Apple distributed mass messages warning recipients that they were “targeted by state-sponsored attackers.”

The warning prompted a senior tech staffer at the commission to send a message providing information on spyware tools and highlighting the need to watch for additional warning from Apple.

The email, as reviewed by Reuters, said: “Given the nature of your responsibilities, you are a potential target.”

There is as yet no evidence suggesting who deployed the spyware, or whether they were successful.

The Israeli firm NSO Group, the developers of Pegasus, has denied responsibility for the hacking attempts described in the report. The group has gone so far as to claim that the alleged targeting “could not have happened with NSO’s tools,” adding that it was in favour of an investigation into the matter.

 

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