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Kremlin Says Unbothered by Pegasus Spyware Revelations

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Wikicommons

The Kremlin sees no need to take extra security measures in light of revelations that Israeli-made Pegasus anti-terrorism spyware was misused to monitor politicians, journalists and activists around the world.

Russian nationals do not yet appear to be listed in a leak of almost 50,000 phone numbers from 45 countries that investigative reports said were selected for surveillance by Pegasus users. Cybersecurity expert Andrei Soldatov attributed their absence to Russian security services’ aversion toward importing foreign-made surveillance tools.

Media later reported that billionaire Pavel Durov, the Russian-born, Dubai-based founder of the popular VKontakte and Telegram social networks, was listed among the potential targets.

Pegasus maker NSO Group has denied the reports published in a joint investigation by The Guardian, The Washington Post, Le Monde and the Paris-based Forbidden Stories nonprofit this week.

During a daily conference call Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “Security measures are taken regularly and there’s no need for additional measures.”

“In general, the head of state, the prime minister, the presidential administration and other departments use a special reliably protected government communications system,” Peskov said.

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