Former CBI Chief Added To Pegasus List After Being Sacked In 2018: Report

Former CBI chief Alok Verma, who was unceremoniously fired in 2018 after a clash with the government, was added to a list of targets for surveillance with the Israeli spyware Pegasus just hours after the sacking, news website The Wire reported on Thursday.

The inclusion of phone numbers, however, may not mean that his device was infected with Pegasus, as that can only be confirmed through a forensic analysis.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, political strategist Prashant Kishor, Union Ministers and dozens of journalists were found on the list of targets earlier this week in the scandal that has been dubbed “bigger than Watergate” by the opposition and strenuously dismissed by the government.

The Wire is among 17 media organisations that are publishing the investigation that says Pegasus had been used in attempted or successful hacks of smartphones using malware that enables the extraction of messages, records calls and secretly activates microphones.

The maker of the spyware NSO, which has said it sells its spyware to only “vetted governments”, has rejected the reports as “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”. NDTV has not independently verified the reporting.

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