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Pegasus Spyware – Everything You Need To Know

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The Pegasus Spyware is back again and the government of India is allegedly using it to spy on select personalities like journalists and politicians. Here is everything you need to know about the Pegasus spyware.

By Sagnik Dasgupta - 
19th Jul 2021
Pegasus Spyware Is Back

Highlights of the Story

  • Pegasus is a spyware developed by an Israeli company named NSO Group
  • The government of India allegedly uses it to spy on certain personalities
  • Here is everything you need to know about the spyware!

The Pegasus Spyware which is developed by the Israeli company named NSO Group is back. Moreover, the spyware is now in the spotlight for the alleged surveillance of certain personalities. These personalities include the likes of journalists, politicians, businessmen and more. The government of India is allegedly using the spyware to tap into the phones of such personalities.

However, the Ministry of Electronics and Information technology has called the allegations false. They refer to the allegations as false and malicious in nature. Furthermore, the Ministry has stated that no unauthorized snooping has taken place by government agencies. Additionally, the ministry has stated that there are no concrete facts and figures regarding the government spying on specific groups of people. The Ministry has stated that the government stands by the right to privacy for all of its citizens and would not encroach it.

Also read: Pegasus Spyware is Back And it Could Target Your WhatsApp: Here’s How to Stay Safe

Taking things back a bit, Mansoor had received text messages on his iPhone which promised to unveil secrets about tortured prisoners in the country if he clicked on the link in the SMS. However, he did not click on it and rather sent over the SMS to researchers at Citizen Lab. The researchers traced the SMS back to NSO Group which revealed the spyware.

Pegasus Spyware: What Is It Exactly?

Pegasus is a spyware which is primarily used to hack all kinds of mobile devices. The spyware had first been in the spotlight way back in 2016 for attempting to hack into the mobile phone of Ahmed Mansoor, a UAE human right activist. However, the attempt was unsuccessful but ever since then, people have been cautious about the spyware.

Also read: How To Send Disappearing Images & Videos on WhatsApp?

The primary reason why people fear this software is because it is the most advanced and sophisticated of all spywares currently. The spyware has the capability of infiltrating iOS and android mobile devices easily. This makes it a dangerous technological weapon, if one might say so. Moreover, the Pegasus spyware was primarily meant to be used by governments on a license basis. Back in 2019, the sale of the Pegasus spyware was limited by NSO Group to state intelligence agencies.

The NSO Group’s website claims that the company has solely created the spyware tech to help government agencies combat terrorism and crime to save lives. Additionally, the human rights policy of the company reads as, “contractual obligations requiring NSO’s customers to limit the use of the company’s products to the prevention and investigation of serious crimes, including terrorism, and to ensure that the products will not be used to violate human rights”. However, despite of all these claims, the company has a notorious fame for snooping on people with their spyware.

Snooping And Tapping Allegations

Way back in late 2019, Pegasus had reportedly targeted 1,400 WhatsApp users in 20 countries. Moreover, these users include some Indian journalists and activists. Additionally, WhatsApp stated that the spyware attacked its video calling feature and a certain vulnerability. However, the good news is that the vulnerability has been patched since.

NSO Group allegedly first made WhatsApp accounts. Now, these accounts were used to make video calls to people. When the person’s phone rang, the malicious code got transmitted. The Pegasus spyware then got installed automatically into the person’s phone. Moreover, the severe danger lies in the fact that users did not have to answer the call for the spyware to get installed.

Also read: How To Speed Up Old iPhone?

After the installation, what Pegasus could monitor was terrifying. From the user’s call records and WhatsApp messages to their voice calls, passwords, contact list, mobile phone’s microphone and camera, Pegasus snoopes on everything. However, NSO Group completely denied all such allegations stating that it only sold Pegasus to government agencies.

So, here was everything you needed to know about the Pegasus Spyware. Stay tuned for more updates on this!



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