Publishedduration1 hour agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionDozens of Al Jazeera journalists were targeted in the attack, researchers allege

Dozens of Al Jazeera journalists were allegedly hacked with the help of spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO Group, cyber-security researchers say.

Details of the alleged hack targeting 36 members of staff, including TV anchors and executives, have been published in a report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

It says a vulnerability in iPhone operating system software was used.

NSO Group has denied the allegation, saying it “lacks any evidence".

Citizen Lab researchers say they concluded with “medium confidence” that two attackers who had spied on the phones of Al Jazeera journalists were doing so on behalf of the Saudi Arabian and UAE governments.

“The phones were compromised using an exploit chain that we call Kismet,” the researchers write.

In July 2020, Kismet was a "zero-day" attack – meaning Apple was supposedly unaware of the flaw – and it worked on at least iOS 13.5.1, and could hack Apple’s iPhone 11, the latest model at the time.