Exiled Russian Meduza Journalist Claims Being Hacked by European State with Pegasus Spyware

The reported cyber-attack on Timchenko in Latvia has heightened concerns about journalist security and possible European state involvement in such incidents.

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Galina Timchenko, an exiled Russian journalist and founder of the independent news website Meduza, has claimed that her iPhone was targeted by Pegasus spyware. The alleged cyber-attack reportedly occurred while Timchenko was in Latvia, raising concerns about the security of journalists and the potential involvement of European states in such activities.

Details of the Alleged Cyber-Attack

Timchenko discovered the alleged breach after receiving a suspicious message, which prompted her to contact experts. Subsequent analysis by Bitdefender revealed the presence of Pegasus spyware on her device. This sophisticated software, developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, is known for its ability to infiltrate smartphones, enabling unauthorized access to sensitive information. “The spyware can turn on the phone's camera and microphone, record calls, and track the user's location,” Bitdefender warns.

Implications and Reactions

The incident has sparked discussions about the safety of journalists, especially those operating in or reporting on authoritarian regimes. Meduza, founded by Timchenko after her exile from Russia, is renowned for its independent reporting on Russian and society. The alleged attack on Timchenko's phone raises questions about who might benefit from spying on her communications and whether this represents a broader trend of targeting journalists.

The Latvian government has expressed concern over the incident, emphasizing the importance of protecting journalists and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, the international community is closely watching developments, as this case adds to the growing list of Pegasus-related incidents around the world.