On Tuesday, Amnesty International stated that French President Emmanual Macron was included on a list of 14 current or former heads of state who were potentially targeted for hacking through a product called Pegasus made by the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group. The organization called the incident an unprecedented revelation that should shock world leaders. Other potential victims include Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Barham Salih of Iraq. According to information leaked to Amnesty including 50,000 phone numbers pertaining to potential targets, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and three current prime ministers, Imran Khan of Pakistan, Mustafa Madbouly of Egypt, and Saad Eddine El Othmani of Morocco were also targeted.
The Washington Post reports that the heads of state found on the list would not submit their smartphones to forensic testing to determining whether the devices were infected by the Pegasus software. According to reports, 37 phones identified in the investigation were breached or show signs of attempted infection. The Post and several other members of a global media consortium were granted access to the leaked list. A French media company included in this group determined that 15 members of the French government may have been among the potential targets of the campaign.