Your privacy at stake – Pegasus spyware

You are currently viewing Your privacy at stake – Pegasus spyware

What if someone says a ghost is spying on your mobile. What if someone’s keeping an eye on what you are searching for, whom you are talking to, what messages you are sending, your location details, And most importantly your passwords! Even your camera and microphone are being controlled by this Pegasus spyware.

Shocked?

Don’t worry this is an article to create awareness in you. 

What is Pegasus spyware?

It is spyware developed to catch criminals by Israeli cyber arms firm NSO Group. The name came after the mythical flying winged horse Pegasus.

It can control iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, and some Android devices also. It came to know that it can infect all the latest iOS versions (iOS 14.6).

Pegasus spyware hides for as long as it can. It is self-destructive. If it didn’t receive commands from its control server for more than 60 days, this spyware destroys itself.

How did it came?

It was discovered after a failed installation attempt in August 2016. It was an attempt on Arab human activists. He received a text message followed by a link.  He would have installed spyware in his phone if he’d clicked on that link but instead, he sent it to the Citizen Lab where the investigation took place. And hence spyware was revealed.

Also read https://terminalstack.com/api-application-programming-interface/

What are the current threats?

In August 2020, pegasus spyware was sold to the United Arab Emirates for monitoring political leaders, anti-regime activists, and journalists.

A global collaborative Amnesty international & Forbidden stories investigation showed that pegasus allegedly targeted around 50,000 people in the world. Some 300 were from India. Including two Ministers in the Modi government, three other party leaders, many journalists, and business persons.

The most horrifying threat is the ability of spyware to attack the victim with ‘zero-click’. Where no action from the user’s phone is required. Instead of using text links or messages to attack, upgraded Pegasus spyware gives you no option. 

In July 2020, Pegasus spyware took media attention as “THE MOST SOPHISTICATED SMARTPHONE ATTACK EVER ”

All about Pegasus spyware

Can someone detect it?

Many apps claim that they can detect pegasus spyware. But here pegasus wins as it is self-destructible and remains hidden while functioning. Popular antiviruses are also unable to detect it. 

Antivirus named iVerify which is an Apple-approved antivirus that claims to check spyware but only provides you with the information of traces of Pegasus spyware.

Loopholes :

  • If you were a victim of pegasus earlier but you’ve changed your phone then it can’t track you back.
  • Media houses say that if a number appears in the list of 50,000 that doesn’t mean they are the prime targets. They are only suspects. The investigation only tested 67 numbers out of which only 50% numbers were found to have traces of spyware. 
  • Pegasus is not the spyware to buy at once and can be installed on multiple devices. It is per device per license. And it cost $650,000 to track 10 devices (Reported by New York Times in 2016). So don’t worry there are very less chances that you might be a victim.

Precautions

  • Try Not to click a link with an unknown domain. 
  • Amnesty created a tool that is available on GitHub that claims to detect Pegasus. Try it.

Comment down if you want to discuss more on this. 

Thank you for reading.

Reference

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/project-pegasus-india-spyware-controversy-quixplained-7412960/

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