In light of disclosures that Israeli-made Pegasus anti-terrorism malware was used to monitor politicians, journalists, and activists throughout the world, the Kremlin sees no need to take further security precautions.
Russian nationals do not appear to be included in a leak of over 50,000 phone numbers from 45 countries, according to investigative reports, that were chosen for monitoring by Pegasus users. According to cybersecurity expert Andrei Soldatov, their absence is due to Russian security agencies’ unwillingness to purchasing foreign-made monitoring technologies.
Later, the media claimed that billionaire Pavel Durov, the Russian-born, Dubai-based founder of the famous social networks VKontakte and Telegram, was among the prospective targets.
NSO Group, the producer of the Pegasus, has refuted the claims revealed this week in a joint investigation by The Guardian, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and the Paris-based Forbidden Stories organization.
During a daily conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Security measures are performed on a regular basis, and there is no need for extra steps.”
“In general, the president, the prime minister, the presidential administration, and other agencies utilize a unique, reliable government communications system,” Peskov explained.