The phone numbers of French President Emmanuel Macron and members of his government are on a list of possible targets for the Pegasus spyware, which some states used to spy on personalities, the head of the Forbidden Stories organization said Tuesday.
“We found these phone numbers, but we obviously could not carry out a technical investigation of Emmanuel Macron’s phone” to verify if he is infected by this software, Laurent Richard explained to the LCI chain, confirming an information from the newspaper Le Monde.
Therefore, “this does not tell us whether the president was actually spied on, but it shows in any case that there was an interest in doing so,” added the director of this organization.
“If the facts are confirmed, it is evident that they are very serious. We will clarify these press revelations,” the French presidency assured when asked whether some states “potentially spied” on the head of state through this software.
Le Monde revealed on Tuesday that these numbers, including those of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, were “on the list of numbers selected by a Moroccan state security service, a user of Pegasus spyware, for eventual hacking.”
Forbidden Stores and the Amnesty International association obtained a list of 50,000 phone numbers selected since 2016 by clients of the NSO group, which developed Pegasus, for eventual surveillance.
The two organizations then shared the list with a global consortium of 17 media outlets, including Mexican Proceso and Aristegui Noticias, who revealed their existence on Sunday.
According to these revelations, other potential targets would have been various relatives and collaborators of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.