Accounts of groups of journalists in social networks are hacked, APES files notice in FGR

This week the WhatsApp accounts of several groups of journalists in El Salvador were hacked

By: Luis Alberto López

The Savior – The accounts of several WhatsApp groups, made up mostly of journalists and sources of information such as relief agencies and unofficial organizations, were violated in the last days of this week.

Hackers hacked the phone numbers of some group members and administrators to send warning messages and threats in some cases, like pornographic images spoofed the original name of the account.

Journalists and members of private social media groups opted out and ensured the privacy of their account and phone device.

Communicators who were directly violated, They denounced the case on other social media accounts and warned their contacts and followers of what happened on their WhatsApp account..

TV presenter's number, Alex Pineda, was hacked and from there they asked for financial help for cancer treatment which has already been denied, similar case occurred in other accounts that were also deleted immediately.

This occurs in the midst of a public complaint made on Wednesday of this week in which the results of an investigation conducted by various international organizations were released., which determined that at least 35 Salvadoran journalists have had their cell phones hacked with the system created by the Israeli company NSO Group, which is mainly marketed to governments around the world.

“We have confirmed 35 cases of journalists and members of civil society whose phones were infected with NSO's Pegasus spyware between July 2020 and November of 2021. We shared a sample of our forensic data with Amnesty International's Security Laboratory, which independently confirms our findings.”, points out the Citizen Lab report.

The attack has been condemned by several national and international organizations for violating press freedom and violating the privacy of communicators..

The case is considered very serious because it compromises the freedom of the press and the safety of journalists and the media in El Salvador..

About, Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES), issued a statement to demand a response from the Salvadoran State about the alleged use that could be given to Pegasus.

For their part, in social networks, authorities of the Ministry of Communications of the government, in a concise text on social networks, he has limited himself to ensuring that the government has not hired any company to spy on journalists.

While other officials such as pro-government deputies and allies to the government of President Nayib Bukele, The demands of the journalists have discredited the complaint and treated it in a burlesque manner..

This Friday afternoon, 14 directors of the APES presented a notice to the Attorney General of the Republic to investigate the complaints and prosecute those responsible.

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