ROTechnica

Pegasus Spyware: What you need to know

Is the government secretly spying on you and others? The answer might be yes. Journalists have uncovered evidence of secret spyware- Pegasus- that’s being used by governments all over the world to spy on persons of interest.

A list of more than 50,000 phone numbers shows that more than 1000 people in over fifty countries are being monitored using the Pegasus spyware. Among these identified persons are politicians, journalists, human rights activists, and even royalty. So, what is the Pegasus spyware, how does it work, and is your phone at risk? 

What is the Pegasus Spyware?

Pegasus spyware is a program developed by an Israeli company called NSO Group. The program infects a target’s phone and collects video and audio recordings, photos, and messages. The developers say that the software can’t be traced back to the government using it, making it the perfect spyware. They also describe the role of this product as “helping government intelligence and law enforcement agencies use technology to meet challenges of encryption.”

Is Your Phone at Risk?

Yes, it is. Pegasus spyware can infect your phones through several means. One and perhaps the most worrying is the “zero-click” attack, which allows your phone to be infected by receiving a text message, and no user action is required.

Some other approaches include SMS or iMessage containing the link to a website. Clicking on the link gives access to the software and compromises your device. Once accessed, the perpetrator can secure remote access to your phone data and functions while you’re completely unaware of the covert activities.

Furthermore, while Apple phones are safer than androids, both platforms are at risk and compromised by the Pegasus spyware. However, while android devices are also vulnerable to compromise, the diversity of androids makes it harder to deploy a single tool to such a vast user base.

Finally, your phone might be at risk of compromise from the Pegasus spyware, but with due diligence and following a few safety rules, you might be able to keep your phone clean and data safe.

Image Credit: Beebom

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