In November 2021, Apple sent thousands of warning messages to iPhone owners, telling them that they had been targeted by states using the Pegasus spyware. Published by the Israeli company NSO, Pegasus allows users to take control of a smartphone remotely and to spy on all its uses (calls, messages, photos, videos, storage space, etc.).
On 15 April 2022, Reuters revealed that the phones of four members of the European Commission—including Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice—had been targeted by Pegasus. The names of the other three Commissioners attacked have not been made public. It was the Apple campaign that raised the alarm about these attempted intrusions.
However, the press agency was not able to identify the states that commissioned the spying, nor was it able to say whether it had been successful, or even whether the European Commission had filed a complaint. When asked about the subject, the Brussels executive merely stated that “checks were underway.”