Pegasus: Macron urges a tightening of security

During an extraordinary Defense Council meeting on Thursday about the Pegasus case, Emmanuel Macron asked for “a strengthening of all security protocol” to protect sensitive communications. The Elysee replied that it was not possible to do so.

“The President demanded a strengthened of all security protocols, in parallel with technical operations of detection & clarification in progress” regarding the case. The request was made by the presidency following revelations of Emmanuel Macron’s phones being among the potential targets for spyware.

She added that Emmanuel Macron “himself had changed his phone number and phone number in certain exchanges” at the end the meeting, which was organized before he traveled to Japan for the ceremony. Opening of the Tokyo Olympics.

After information was released by Radio France and Le Monde, the Defense Council was formed. They are part the 17 media consortium responsible for the revelations of a mass spy system connected to the Pegasus program. They discovered that the Pegasus spyware was used by the Moroccan state security services to select a number of heads of state for possible piracy.

The Elysee stated that the president “takes this matter very seriously” and closely monitors the progress of the investigation. Reiterating that the facts must be proven, they would be “obviously serious”, the presidency stated that the facts are not certain at this stage. However, it is prudent to remain cautious in the comments.

Gabriel Attal, the government’s spokesperson, said that Gabriel Attal had indicated earlier that it was possible to obtain a progress report from the defense council on verification work.

Prior to the meeting, he stated on France Inter that this investigation had not revealed whether the president’s phones had been infected.

Targeted technical support

A security source confirmed to AFP Wednesday that Mr. Macron’s phone security settings were as restrictive as possible, and that the installation of downloads and applications was blocked.

“The phones (of President) are regularly changed. There are many security parameters that protect and they are updated very often. Gabriel Attal assured that there are security measures in place and dismissed criticisms of state officials’ negligence.

The national agency for information security (ANSSI), he said, “has also started to offer people who might be targeted by an attack technical assistance.” Media revelations have revealed that the former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s numbers and those of 14 government officials were included in a list that was selected by the Pegasus spyware-using Moroccan state security services for possible piracy.

The Cherifian Kingdom denies being involved in the espionage scheme, which was meant to, according to him to, “destabilize deep diplomatic relationships between Morocco and France”. Therefore, Amnesty and Forbidden Stories have been sued by the Paris Criminal Court for defamation.

These associations claim that the case involves a list of 50,000 phone numbers around the world, selected by customers of NSO Israel, which sells Pegasus.

In general, Mr. Attal stressed the importance of “protecting public and economic sector” of the country. He recalled that a plan worth “100 million euros” was launched last year to “equip our hospital and help our communities face cyber attacks.

Politically, Thursday’s evocation to the National Assembly by rebellious France about the Pegasus affair triggered a violent exchange among Meyer Habib, UDI deputy and LFI, which were both accused of “anti-Semitism”.

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