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India bought Israeli Pegasus spyware in 2017 as part of weapons deal, claims report by NYT

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Pegasus
Spyware purchased by Indian Government

According to a report by the New York Times the controversial Israeli spyware Pegasus was bought by the Indian Government in 2017 as part of $ 2 billion package for weapons including a missile system. 

About the report on Pegasus:

In a report the NYT, titled ‘The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon’, said that the Israeli firm NSO Group had for nearly a decade been “selling its surveillance software on a subscription basis to law-enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, promising that it could do what no one else, not a private company, not even a state intelligence service, could do. They can consistently and reliably crack the encrypted communications of any iPhone or Android smartphone.” 

Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017:

The report also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017 – to become the first Indian prime minister to visit the country. It further said that “For decades, India had maintained a policy of what it called “commitment to the Palestinian cause,” and relations with Israel were frosty. The Modi visit, however, was notably cordial, complete with a carefully staged moment of him and (then Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu walking together barefoot on a local beach. 

Besides, they had reason for the warm feelings. Their countries had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly USD 2 billion, with the spyware and a missile system as the centerpieces.”

“Months later, Netanyahu made a rare state visit to India. And in June 2019, India voted in support of Israel at the UN’s Economic and Social Council to deny observer status to a Palestinian human rights organisation, a first for the nation,” they wrote.

Pegasus spyware:

Pegasus is spyware developed by the Israeli cyber arms firm NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones. It was first identified in August 2016. Rather than being a specific exploit, Pegasus is a suite of exploits that uses many vulnerabilities in the system.

ALSO READ: MADE IN INDIA OPERATING SYSTEM TO RIVAL ANDROID AND IOS, PLAN INDIAN GOVERNMENT

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