Local media reported that the phone of an opposition-linked Polish mayor was infected with the Pegasus spyware, which is rumored to be used by Polish special services to spy on government opponents.
This isn’t the first time the spyware has been used in the country, with a Polish opposition duo being hacked with NSO spyware in 2021. The spyware was used to spy on the phone of Jacek Karnowski, mayor of the city of Sopot, in 2018-2019, while he was working on the opposition’s campaign for elections to the Senate.
Karnowski condemned the actions, stating that those who inspired and commissioned them belong in prison. In June 2022, NSO Group, the controversial Israeli surveillance vendor, admitted to European Union lawmakers that its Pegasus spyware had been used by at least five countries in the region.
While NSO Group’s General Counsel admitted to mistakes, he also mentioned that the company had canceled several contracts after the abuse of its software made headlines.
In April 2022, the Parliament established a new inquiry committee to investigate the use of Pegasus spyware and equivalent surveillance software used to spy on politicians, diplomats, and civil society members’ phones.
Several European leaders, including Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Spanish political groups, Hungary, and Poland, were targeted by the spyware.
A report investigating Pegasus spyware’s impact on human rights has also been launched by the Council of Europe on the occasion of the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly.