SAN FRANCISCO – It’s a doozy of a digital spying case. Security researchers found evidence of attempted or successful installation of Pegasus, software made by an Israeli cybersecurity company, on 37 phones of activists, journalists and businesspeople. They appear to have been the targets of potentially intense secret surveillance by software intended to pursue criminals and terrorists.

The phones were on an activist organization’s list of more than 50,000 phone numbers for politicians, judges, lawyers, teachers and others. Also on that list are 10 prime ministers, three presidents and a king, the Washington Post reported, though there’s no proof that being on the list means an attack was attempted or successful.

Made by NSO Group, Pegasus is the latest example of how vulnerable we all are to digital prying. Our most personal information — photos, text messages and emails — is stored on our phones. Spyware can reveal directly what’s going on in our lives, bypassing the encryption that protects data sent over the internet.

The 50,000 phone numbers are connected to phones around the world, though NSO disputes the link between the list and actual phones targeted by Pegasus. The devices of dozens of people close to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador were on the list, as were those belonging to CNN, Associated Press, New York Times and Wall Street Journal reporters. But phones from several on the list, including Claude Mangin, the French wife of a political activist jailed in Morocco, were infected or attacked.

Here’s what you need to know about Pegasus. Click on