Spain sacks spy chief after politicians’ mobile phones hacked and infected with spyware

Spain has sacked its intelligence chief after politicians’ mobile phones were hacked and infected with Pegasus software.Paz Esteban Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Defence Minister Margarita Robles and several supporters of Catalonian independence were among those targeted by the spyware, developed by an Israeli surveillance company called NSO Group. Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) has been criticized for its role in spying on Catalan separatists and taking a full year to discover that the handsets of the prime minister and key defence and security officials had been breached, possibly by a foreign power.Pedro Sanchez During a closed-door parliamentary hearing last week, … Continue reading Spain sacks spy chief after politicians’ mobile phones hacked and infected with spyware

Sweden alarmed by Iran’s reported plan to execute doctor

Sweden’s foreign minister says a report that Iran plans to execute a Swedish-Iranian doctor convicted of espionage this month is “extremely worrying”. Sources told Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency that Ahmadreza Djalali, 50, would be put to death by 21 May. Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted that Sweden and the EU condemned the death penalty and demanded Djalali’s release. The emergency medicine specialist was arrested during a business trip in 2016 and accused of spying for Israel. He was sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran the following year, after what human rights groups called a grossly unfair … Continue reading Sweden alarmed by Iran’s reported plan to execute doctor

South Korea arrests two for passing military secrets to North

Police in South Korea have arrested two people suspected of leaking military secrets to a person believed to be a North Korean agent. The chief executive of a cryptocurrency exchange and an army officer divulged login details for South Korea’s joint military command, police say. They are accused of receiving large sums of money in exchange. North and South Korea have been locked in a tense relationship ever since fighting a war between 1950-1953. “This is the first case in which an active-duty officer and a civilian under orders of a North Korean agent colluded and spying on military secrets … Continue reading South Korea arrests two for passing military secrets to North

Mali accuses France of spying over video of mass grave

Mali on Tuesday accused the French army of “spying” and “subversion” when it used a drone to film what France alleged was mercenaries burying bodies near a military base. The drone “illegally” flew over the Gossi base on April 20, the day after French forces handed the site back to Mali, the junta said in a statement. The following day, the French army shared a video it said showed Russian mercenaries covering bodies with sand to falsely accuse the departing troops of war crimes. Two soldiers could be seen filming the half-buried corpses. Earlier on Tuesday, Mali’s military announced an inquiry into the discovery of … Continue reading Mali accuses France of spying over video of mass grave

US offers $10 million reward for information on Russian intelligence officers -State Dept

Ukrainian servicemen stand by a damaged vehicle, at the site of fighting with Russian troops. The United States on Tuesday offered a reward of up to $10 million for information on six people it described as Russian military intelligence officers who had conducted cyber-attacks affecting critical US infrastructure. The six officers work in a cyber-focused unit of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and were involved in a 2017 global malware attack that infected the computers of several private US entities, including a hospital system, the US State Department said. The 2017 “NotPetya” cyberattack crippled parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure and damaged … Continue reading US offers $10 million reward for information on Russian intelligence officers -State Dept

British embassy guard charged with spying for Russia

A security guard at the British embassy in Berlin suspected of spying for Russia has been extradited to appear in court charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act. David Ballantyne Smith, 57, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. The UK national was arrested by German police on 10 August. The offences are alleged to have happened between October 2020 and August 2021. Mr Smith, who had been living in Potsdam, in Germany, was flown back to the UK on Wednesday ahead of his appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The Metropolitan Police said the nine … Continue reading British embassy guard charged with spying for Russia

Australian journalist Cheng Lei on trial in China for spy charge

A Beijing court is holding a closed-door trial for Australian journalist and former TV anchor Cheng Lei, in a high-profile diplomatic case. Ms Cheng is accused of illegally supplying state secrets overseas. Her family maintains she is innocent. The Chinese-born Australian was working for Chinese state media outlet CGTN prior to her detention in August 2020. Canberra has repeatedly raised concerns over her detention and has called for “basic standards of justice” to be met. Little is known about the exact nature of Ms Cheng’s alleged offences. Speaking to reporters outside of the courtroom on Thursday, Australia’s ambassador to China … Continue reading Australian journalist Cheng Lei on trial in China for spy charge

Europeans expel dozens of Russian envoys to combat espionage

In what appeared to be a coordinated action to tackle Russian espionage, at least four European allies expelled a total of dozens of Russian diplomats on Tuesday.Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra The expulsions come against a backdrop of relations between Russia and the West that have been plunged into a deep freeze following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The Netherlands said it was expelling 17 Russians who it described as intelligence officers masquerading as diplomats. Belgium said it was ejecting 21 Russians. The Czech Republic gave one Russian diplomat 72 hours to leave the country. Ireland told four senior Russian … Continue reading Europeans expel dozens of Russian envoys to combat espionage

Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage

Poland said it had expelled 45 Russian diplomats on Wednesday for engaging in espionage in the EU country.Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski made the announcement on Twitter. “Poland has expelled 45 Russian spies pretending to be diplomats,” he wrote. “We are dismantling the Russian special services network in our country.” Russia confirmed the expulsions but dismissed Polish accusations as baseless. “There are no grounds for these kinds of accusations,” said Sergey Andreyev, Russia’s ambassador to Poland. Nevertheless, bilateral diplomatic relations remained in place, he added. “The embassies remain, the ambassadors remain.” The Polish government’s move comes … Continue reading Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage

Ungrateful Soul: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said ‘I should have been freed six years ago’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said it should never have taken the government so long to secure her release from prison in Iran. She told a news conference she had been overwhelmed with emotion to be reunited with her husband and daughter, describing the reunion as precious. But she said “what’s happened now should have happened six years ago”. The British-Iranian was speaking for the first time since her dramatic return to the UK last week. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested on spying charges while visiting her parents in Iran, with her then two-year-old daughter Gabriella, in April 2016. Last week, she was … Continue reading Ungrateful Soul: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said ‘I should have been freed six years ago’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arrive in UK after being freed from Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been reunited with their families in the UK after years of detention in Iran. The British Iranian nationals were met by their loved ones at RAF Brize Norton in the early hours of Thursday. Both have consistently and vigorously denied the allegations. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s seven-year-old daughter Gabriella rushed to hug her mother, who she had not seen in years. And Mr Ashoori’s daughter Elika spoke of her happiness at finally seeing her father again. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, and Mr Ashoori, 67, finally left Tehran on Wednesday after their release was secured following months of … Continue reading Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arrive in UK after being freed from Iran

North Korea confirms spy satellite tests

North Korean state media said on Sunday that the country performed tests that would be necessary to create a spy satellite, signaling that the pariah state could soon launch a long-range rocket despite a United Nations ban. The Korean Central News Agency said on Sunday North Korea had conducted “another important test” to test a reconnaissance satellite’s data transmission and reception as well as control systems, according to The Associated Press. However, it remains unclear if North Korea has a camera that would be able to produce images in a high enough resolution to have spying capabilities. The country would need to … Continue reading North Korea confirms spy satellite tests