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breaking news Emmanuel Macron’s cell phone in Morocco’s viewfinder

breaking news

By Damien Leloup and Martin Untersinger

Posted today at 5:59 p.m., updated at 6:11 p.m.

Emmanuel Macron loves his cell phones. For the French president, they are a working tool, a means of governing and even a symbol of his modernity. Two iPhones are enthroned by his side on his official portrait and, in the video shot in May with youtubers McFly and Carlito, we see him in the Elysée lounges drawing one to call footballer Kylian Mbappé.

But the use of these devices may have turned against him. One of the numbers of the President of the Republic, which he uses, according to our information, regularly since at least 2017 and until recent days, appears in the list of numbers selected by a security service of the Moroccan state. , user of Pegasus spyware, for potential hacking. Telephone numbers belonging to Edouard Philippe, then Prime Minister, as well as to fourteen other members of the government were also targeted.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also “Pegasus Project”: Edouard Philippe, ministers and political leaders on the Moroccan intelligence list

These numbers are part of a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers consulted by the organization Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, before being shared with sixteen media, including The world, united within the “Pegasus Project”. According to analyzes carried out by the consortium and Amnesty, presence on this list means that a Pegasus client has taken an interest in it and considered possible infection. The authenticity of this list and its link to the Pegasus spyware were notably established by analyzing several dozen phones on it. In a large majority of cases, technical traces left by Pegasus were found there, often a few seconds after the appearance on the list of the corresponding telephone number.

Without having been able to examine the phone of the President of the Republic, it is not possible to say whether it was infected by this spyware, one of the most sophisticated on the planet. Pegasus is as invisible as he is intrusive; only a precise technical analysis protocol, drawn up by a handful of experts, can detect traces of it a posteriori. In a statement sent to Project Pegasus on July 20, NSO claims that Emmanuel Macron “Has not, and never has been, a target or has never been selected as a target by customers of NSO”. NSO does not specify on what it is basing its assertion, the company specifying that it has “No access to the data of its customers, who must however provide this type of information” to NSO in the event of an investigation.

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