What is Pegasus Spyware? and What Can Pegasus Do? | History of Pegasus Spyware

As you guys must be seeing that everyone is talking about this “Pegasus spyware”. Every news channel, YouTube channel are also talking about this. So, now You might also be curious that what is this spyware and how is it dangerous for our privacy.

According to the news channel, Israel-based cyber intelligence and security firm NSO Group has developed spyware named “Pegasus”. The main purpose of Pegasus is to keep an eye on criminals, terrorists, etc. By putting this spyware in their phone, we can take full access to their phone, and then we can easily find out where they are and what they want to do.

But some people are using it wrong purpose. As per the news report which is published on Sunday 18th July revealed that more than 50,000 phone numbers were targetted to spy on them. 300 out of 50,000 phone numbers were found from India, Including ministers, opposition leaders, government officers, more than 40 journalists, some businessmen, etc.

Now, let’s see what is “Pegasus Spyware”.

What is Pegasus Spyware?

Pegasus Spyware is the most sophisticated Spyware which is developed by an Israeli security company called NSO group. It is malicious software that is designed to enter your devices(Mobile/Computer devices) to gather your private data and send it to other parties without your consent.

In simple words, It is spyware which infiltrates your phones or other operating devices to gather all your private resources and sell them to a third party e.g. big companies, etc.

The word “Pegasus” is taken from the mythical winged horse (A white horse with wings) Which is also known as a “Trojan Horse” that can be sent flying through the air to spy on mobile devices.

History of Pegasus

  • In 2016, the Canadian researcher of cybersecurity organization The first lab test of a pegasus was done on a smartphone. The testing phone human rights defender named“Ahmed Mansoor”. He received the text message promising “secrets” about the torture which happening in the prisons of the United Arab Emirates by following the link.
  • “Pegasus” iOS exploitation was identified in August 2016 and In August 2018 was the time where the pegasus was fully discovered by testing on the iPhone of human rights activists led to an investigation revealing details about the spyware, its abilities, and the security vulnerabilities it exploited. After that, In September 2018 the citizen lab of cybersecurity organization published a comprehensive report identifying 45 countries including India, in which the spyware was being used.
  • In October 2019, WhatsApp revealed that journalists and human right activist in India had been targets of surveillance by the operators using “pegasus Spyware”
  • And, In July 2021 the international investigative journalism revealed that the various governments used this software “pegasus” to spy on journalists, activists, government officers, opposition leaders, etc., and many other. In July reports say that the government revealed that they are using this software to spy on around 300.

What Can Pegasus do?

According to the cyber expert, they said that this spyware infiltrates your Android Device as well as Apple devices by entering via missed calls, SMS, E-mails, Whatsapp message, or even iMessage on apple phones, etc. It also enters via mobile apps. Once it enters your devices it automatically gets installed without your consent then it can provide complete remote access to the attacker. And, once he gets complete access to our devices then he’ll be able to use our complete device like he uses our mobile camera, transfers all our money to his account, etc., and other things he can do anything with our devices. This is our biggest privacy problem, that’s why this spyware is too dangerous for our private resources.

The main highlighting point of this spyware is that the attacker gets more control on the mobile device than the user itself and the interesting part of this spyware is that the user does not even know he’s been attacked, there is no way to stop it because you can’t find this spyware in your device and there is no sign/symptom that provides information about this spyware whether it is in our phone or not.

What happens when it is installed on our phones?

In earlier times, the pegasus has been there for quite some time, we started noticing around 2016-17 that it is used to use a traditional phishing technique, which means you get the phishing link. e.g. when an attacker wants to hack your phone then he’ll send you the link(which is known a phishing link) if you click on that link then you will be hacked. This is known as the traditional phishing method. So In 2016-17, Pegasus is used to use a traditional phising technique. But, now Pegasus is more dangerous than the older version. Because, As In the phising method when we click on that suspicious link that time it will make to install a malware in our device but in case of pegasus it does not need to do that anything like phising link. It uses something called “Zero-click vulnerability”, which means it can install itself onto a device without the user actually initiating an action or just making a mistake, so that is not needed. It’s even more worrying because the user does not know he’s been attacked.

How to know If we are being targeted?

As we know that the Pegasus uses a “Zero-click Vulnerability” Which means it is very difficult for the user to know he or she is targeted or not. As per the basic criteria, we’ll find by checking our phone is slowing up or not. But It is not the best idea to check because this is a normal thing that our phone is getting slower, So we can’t find it anymore. It already uses the zero-click vulnerability that makes it impossible to find.

How can we take precautions against this spyware?

As such the Zero-Click technology makes us difficult to avoid because If an attacker really wants to steal our data then he can do it easily. But As for safety, we can take some precautions.

As per the cyber expert, they give us some safety precautions about this virus are:

  1. To make ensure that you’re using the latest version of the
    operating system.
  2. And, also updates all the apps which are having on your phone.
  3. The other thing to do is you should not sideload any apps.
  4. There is another way which an expert told me is to delete those apps which you don’t need.

Conclusion:

So, Guys, There is no need to worry about this spyware because this spyware attack is most costly. The attacker must think 10 times before attacking us Because he won’t get anything by attacking us. If this attack is costly it means that this attack is used for high-profile personalities like businesses, officials, journalists, etc., and many others.

So, that’s for today’s blog guys. We will meet again with the new topic, till then you read our old blog. I hope you liked this blog.

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