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Massive data leak includes the phone numbers of 13 world leaders

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New information reveals that the “Pegasus Database” leak includes the phone number of several world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron

The recent “Pegasus Database” leak included the personal mobile phone numbers of 13 world leaders. The data leak also included the details of diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 countries.

Affected leaders include the French President, South African President and Pakistani Prime Minister.

https://twitter.com/PoliticsForAlI/status/1417595265314263041?s=20

The Israeli spyware company NSO group sells the Pegasus hacking software behind the attack.

The group originally created the software to monitor criminals and terrorist groups around the world.

NSO says that the fact these mobile numbers were included in the database doesn’t indicate the occurrence of hacking. It does however, reveal that government clients of NSO identified these targets as people of interest.

NSO insists Pegasus software is only for investigations into crime and terror

Which world leaders are affected?

An investigation by The Guardian put together the following list of targeted world leaders:

  • Rwanda targeted South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019
  • Morocco targeted French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019
  • Morocco targeted World Health Organisation’s Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in 2019
  • United Arab Emirates targeted prime minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri in 2018 and 2019
  • Morocco targeted the prime minister of Belgium and president of the European council, Charles Michel, in 2019
  • Security forces in Morocco targeted their own King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2019
  • Security forces in Morocco also targeted their own prime minister Saadeddine Othmani in 2018 and 2019
  • India targeted prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in 2019
  • An unknown Mexican client targeted former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón in 2016 and 2017 when his wife was running for the top job
  • Morocco targeted American diplomat Robert Malley in 2019. Malley was a chief negotiator on the US-Iran deal

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Business

Elon Musk under fire from shareholders over Twitter deal

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Elon Musk during SNL appearance

Twitter shareholders are filing a lawsuit against billionaire Elon Musk, alleging he manipulated the company’s stock for personal gain.

The complaints focus on Musk’s conduct after signing the purchase agreement with Twitter’s board in April.

It’s alleged Musk make statements and sent tweets that put the deal in doubt, and drove Twitter’s stocks down.

It comes as the Tesla CEO says the deal “cannot move forward” without more information about automated accounts on the platform.

The lawsuit is a class action proposal brought by a small group of shareholders… they are seeking damages that would be distributed to anyone holding the company’s stock.

Twitter has declined to comment on the unfolding case.

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Tech

Twitter to pay $150mil penalty for violating user privacy

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Twitter hits pause on verification requests

Twitter has agreed to pay a 150 million dollar fine for privacy violations after failing to protect user data for over 6 years

America’s Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department says Twitter allegedly deceived its users about how their private information was being used.

The regulating bodies allege that the company has been using the private phone numbers and emails of its users to assist companies to send targeted ads.

The San Francisco-based company told its users that their information was being harnessed for security purposes, failing to disclose how it would also be used to enable targeted ads.

The violation of the 2011 order allegedly led to a series of vulnerabilities that facilitated hackers to infiltrate the platform and access private user information.

Along with the settlement, Twitter will also have to meet new measures.

In November, Twitter announced that it will create a committee for data governance within the company.

Samantha Hogan contributed to this article.

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Business

WhatsApp warns users about alerts

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WhatsApp is warning all 2 billion users to watch out for new alerts

The popular messaging service is warning users over fresh app danger.

The tech giant is alerting users why unencrypted chats are so risky.

Encryption is a system of encoding and decoding messages.

Not even WhatsApp can read your messages, which makes it difficult for law enforcement.

WhatsApp is showing a fresh warning that reminds users why encryption matters.

The app shows a new footer for end-to-end encryption that shows up at the bottom of your status updates, call history, chats list and devices list.

The pop-up explains what WhatsApp encrypts.

This includes your text and voice messages, video and phone calls, sharing photos, videos, documents and your location, and status updates.

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