Durov said that he had information that one of his mobile numbers was on the spyware target list.
Bringing new insight to the NSO Pegasus spyware controversy, Telegram founder Pavel Durov has revealed that he had been aware since 2018 at least that he was a target of the Israeli spyware. Durov said that he had information that one of his mobile numbers was on the spyware target list. However, he was never worried about the same as he had gotten accustomed to assuming that his phone was always tracked pretty early in his life in Russia.
Talking about the recent reports released by Amnesty International about the spyware being used to target journalists, political opponents and constitutional authorities, Durov said it was very easy for the government agencies to get access to any device-iPhone or Android. Durov also said that it was nearly impossible to protect one’s device from the government agencies as the system is breached on a deeper level.
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On the use of several applications that purportedly claim to protect the device from surveillance, Durov said that it does not matter which applications a user chooses or what they do to protect their device. Taking the surveillance debate to a new dimension, the Telegram founder also referred to the revelations made by Edward Snowden — former CIA subcontractor who had leaked the information from the National Security Agency- that Google and Apple are a part of the global surveillance program.
He alleged that tech conglomerates like Google and Apple implement backdoors into their mobile operating systems. It was through these backdoors that the US agencies can get access to the mobile device of the users, he alleged. Linking the exploitation of these backdoors to other organisations in addition to the US agencies, Durov said that such backdoors can be used to gain access by anyone who is successful in uncovering the backdoors inserted by these companies.
A group of media organisations and Amnesty International broke the Pegasus spywares story about widespread misuse of the Pegasus spyware across different countries around the world including India.