Poland: Doubts raised over new Pegasus hacking claims

Michal Kolodziejczak, a farmer and agrarian movement leader, poses for a photo in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022. Kolodziejczak is identified as victim of phone hacking with the notoriously powerful spyware from Israel’s NSO Group, Pegasus. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Michał Kołodziejczak has shown a report which he received from the Canadian Citizen Lab organization. According to the document, Kołodziejczak’s phone had been surveilled in May 16, 2019 by Pegasus spyware. Citizen Lab had supplied the serial number of the phone. The issue is, however, that this number belongs to an iPhone 11 Pro model which was released on Sept. 10, 2019 — three months after the alleged surveillance attack had taken place.

Moreover, the report emphasizes that the device which was subjected to Pegasus activity was the exact model in question with that serial number, according to a report from Polish state news network TVP.

Polish Twitter users question the credibility of the report.

“Mr. Kołodziejczak has presented a ‘report’ from Citizen Lab. According to it, the device was infected around May 16, 2019. A serial number was included. Once we checked it, it turns out that the model in question is an iPhone 11 Pro, which was unveiled during the Apple Special Event on Sept. 10, 2019. Well done!” posted Emilia Kamińska.

Citizen Lab representative John Scott-Railton responded to claims that the report was false, claiming that surveillance evidence had simply been carried over to a new device.

Kamińska responded by pointing out that the report indicates the exact device and its contents was the one investigated — it does not concern data transferred to another, newer phone.

“To be clear. This ‘report” states that a particular device was inflected. Not that ‘we investigated a new device onto which Kołodziejczak transferred data from his old phone via the cloud.’ The credibility of such a report is non-existent,” Kamińska wrote.

“This device. A very particular one. ‘it was targeted,’ ‘the phone was infected,'” she added, attaching a photo with the paragraph in question.

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