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Anil Ambani among potential Pegasus spyware targets: Report

Report yet to confirm that Anil Ambani's in-use number was listed

anil-ambani-sc-pti File photo of Anil Ambani | PTI

The potential targets of Israeli spyware Pegasus include industrialist Anil Ambani as well as a senior official of ADA Group, according to the latest list of names released on Thursday.

The Wire has reported that phone numbers that have been used by Anil Ambani and one other official of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) were added to the leaked list that was analysed by media partners of the Pegasus Project consortium.

"Apart from Ambani, the other company official whose numbers appear on the list include corporate communications chief Tony Jesudasan, as well as Jesudasan's wife," the report said while adding that it could not be confirmed whether Anil Ambani is currently using the number listed.

There was no immediate comment from ADAG on the report.

As per the report, the number for Dassault Aviation's representative in India, Venkata Rao Posina, former Saab India head Inderjit Sial and Boeing India boss Pratyush Kumar all appear in the leaked database at different periods of time in 2018 and 2019.

The number of Harmanjit Negi, head of the French firm energy EDF, is also in the leaked database, a significant choice given that he was a member of Emmanuel Macron's official delegation during the French president's visit to India during this period, it added.

On Sunday, an international media consortium reported that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking through the spyware.

The reports have been published by The Wire in collaboration with 16 other international publications including the Washington Post, The Guardian and Le Monde, as media partners to an investigation conducted by Paris-based media non-profit organisation Forbidden Stories and rights group Amnesty International.

The investigation focuses on a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers from across the world that are believed to have been the target of surveillance through Pegasus software of Israeli surveillance company NSO Group. 

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