Connect with us

Daily Brief

The Daily Brief: Spy Software ‘Pegasus’ Accused of Targeting World Leaders

Spy Software ‘Pegasus’ Accused of Targeting World Leaders

Published

on

1280px Data Security Breach 29723649810

Blogtrepreneur, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • The Israel-based NSO Group responsible for developing Pegasus software has been accused of spying on journalists, activists, and even world leaders.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron, 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 are all a part of the group of 15 world leaders said to be targeted by Pegasus.
  • None of the leaders are willing to provide their phones for forensic testing, however thirty-seven other phones have been identified to have signs of a breach.
  • Many attribute the ease of breaching privacy to the fact that all personal information is now easily accessible in one device, the phone.
  • The NSO Group completely denies allegations and states that all of their customers are carefully assessed to prevent the misuse of their service.
  • Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the NSO Group including Facebook who claims the firm hacked their branch application Whatsapp.
  • Sources:

https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/07/21/pegasus-spyware-scandal-emmanuel-macron-among-14-heads-of-states-identified-as-possible-ta

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-57910355.amp

  • Tweets:

 

Other Headlines:

First Ever Hijabi Referee, Sara Gamal, Makes Olympic History

  • 32-year-old Sara Gamal will take the court in Tokyo as the first hijabi basketball referee in the Olympics.
  • Gamal’s breakthrough first happened in 2017 when she effectively ended the ban on Islamic headscarves in the International Basketball Federation as they changed their rules regarding headgear.
  • Gamal stated “In the past, many thought they would never be able to take charge of international games, and that they would only be restricted to local matches…But now I’m happy to have played a part in making the difference…Veiled referees now have every reason to believe that they can take their careers to the international level. Many have called me to say they were encouraged to follow suit.”

Tweets:

Permafrost Thawing in Russia Due to Extreme Heat

Permafrost in High Arctic 2
Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Extremely hot summer temperatures in the Russian Arctic are thawing permafrost, causing massive wildfires in northern Siberia and showing the dramatic effects of climate change.
  • The fires release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. In the last three years, the fires have accelerated, creating uncertainty for the villagers’ livelihood.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is having structural problems due to permafrost melting, which causes a change in the slope and bends several of the braces. It is one of the world’s largest pipelines, and an oil spill would be nearly impossible to clean up.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the thawing of permafrost could lead to “very serious social and economic consequences.” Russia recently passed a law requiring businesses to report greenhouse gas emissions.

Tweets

Lebanon Close to Trying Political Figures for Beirut Explosion

Mehr News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Judge Tarek Bitar sought to lift the immunity of political figures in order to investigate and try them for the Beirut blast earlier this month. His initiative is reported to be supported by dozens of MPs.
  • Parliament may transfer the case to the Supreme Council, which deals with matters of impeachment. Currently the case is under a special judicial body, which many people are critical of because it shields the officials from prosecution.
  • The list of those being tried is as follows: caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, former Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, former Public Works Ministers Ghazi Zeiter and Youssef Finianos, and former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk.
  • The explosion in Beirut in August 2020 killed more than 200 people and injured more than 5,000 people. The explosion was caused by hundreds of tonnes of explosive ammonium nitrate that was unsafely stored, allegedly with the officials’ permission.

Tweets

Women Soccer Players Kneel at Day One of Tokyo Olympics

vZKjL33hfC24GP2ad7kRNPxUbBx8kTTePEQqU2tRF ataBnt1tRLM
Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The Tokyo Olympics kicked off day one with Britain’s women soccer players taking a knee in their match against Chile. In similar fashion, the US and Swedish women soccer players did the same in their match,
  • The players took a knee against discrimination and racism in the midst of recent relaxed rules allowing players to express their opinions in a non disruptive manner.
  • The rise of Covid-19 cases in Japan raised concerns about the hosting of more than 11,000 athletes and staff. Some athletes and attendees of the Olympic games have contracted Covid, leading senior officials to discuss the cancellation of the games if infections increase.

Tweets

Tesla Will Most Likely Restart Acceptance of Bitcoin Payments 

  •  Tesla will restart the acceptance of bitcoin payments for vehicle purchases, according to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
  • Musk had stated the decision to suspend bitcoin use in May on Twitter, citing the concern of “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining.”
  • Since Tesla’s suspension of bitcoin, Beijing expelled crypto miners – many of whom travelled to North America for mining.
  • The United States is home to some of the cheapest sources of power, which are more often renewable sources of energy – it is estimated that bitcoin mining in the U.S. is more than 50% powered by renewables, a reason Musk cited for continuing bitcoin use.

Tweets:

Tunisia President Announces Army Takeover to Handle COVID Crisis

e0zWSvf0BVg5HKrlVmGbsGkeiVi2g5RlDY7 4bGFSqkF2K5vnECUe 0WOKI1 gZHcK7t1a3NOVlH6EgV02Nypl9NqRke20cPygEsNPVa4REflF13p
Brahim Guedich, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Tunisia’s President, Kais Saied has announced Wednesday that the military health department will take over management of the COVID-19 health crisis, as the nation grapples with a resurgence with overwhelmed hospitals and limited supplies.
  • Tensions between Mr. Saied and Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi have led to the announcement with Mr. Mechichi accusing the Health Minister of making “criminal” decisions that led to overcrowding and slow vaccinations.
  • Tunisia has received aid from Europe and Arab countries, including three million vaccine doses and field hospitals – the nation is suffering its worst financial crisis and on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • Out of 11.6 million residents, only 940,000 residents have been vaccinated – the death toll from COVID-19 infections has reached 18,000.

Tweets:

Death Toll in South Africa Riots Rises to 276

oRdcOVk0HTAOctH I YRP CyDml5RA0dJcoSOmoz0BwkHTAS4s6FjkljuKnSfCxzSbZsv4p
Hilton1949, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • The death roll from riots in South Africa has risen to 276 as the nation witnessed a week of violence, protest, and criminal activity.
  • Police are investigating 168 cases of murder as poverty and inequality fueled the ongoing unrest – South African society continues to grapply with inequities nearly three decades after the apartheid in 1994.
  • While authorities have curtailed the violence, the economic cost is estimated at 20 billion rand equivalent to 1.37 billion U.S. dollars.
  • While noxious smoke, looting, and vandalism of homes and businesses became rampant during the riots, several volunteers came forward to help clean remaining debris off the streets and other areas heavily damaged by the violence.

Tweets

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

Published

on

800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

Published

on

800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Daily Brief

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

Published

on

800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Daily Brief

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

Published

on

Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Daily Brief

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

Published

on

Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Daily Brief

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

Published

on

Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Articles