Pegasus spyware is causing havoc. In this blog, we will see what is Pegasus spyware, how does Pegasus infect phones. We will also learn what does Pegasus spyware does once it enters your system. So read this complete post to know how you prevent Pegasus from entering your phone.
what is Pegasus
Pegasus was developed by the Israeli network security company NSO Group. It is highly sophisticated spyware called "the most sophisticated smartphone attack in history."
It was first discovered in 2016, but it caused quite a stir at the end of 2019, when it was reported that spyware was being used to monitor journalists and human rights activists around the world, including India.
Many news websites, including The Washington Post and The Guardian, claim that more than 10 governments are using this spyware to monitor journalists, activists, and other major media figures.
In India, more than 40 journalists are reported to be under Pegasus surveillance.
How does Pegasus infect phone
Pegasus was originally used to access mobile phones via malicious network links via messages or emails. Once the user clicks on the link, Pegasus will be installed on the phone. But then spyware also gained new capabilities.
Researchers found that it can even be installed on a mobile phone with just one missed WhatsApp call.
In addition, once Pegasus accesses the device, it can delete any call logs, making it almost impossible for victims to know that their phone is the target of spyware.
what does Pegasus spyware do
According to cybersecurity researchers, after installation, Pegasus will contact the control server to allow it to transmit commands and collect information from the infected device.
Making voice or video calls via WhatsApp, stealing passwords, contacts, text messages, and accessing the phone’s camera, microphone, GPS, and other information are all within its capabilities.
According to the Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto, “The malware is designed to evade forensic analysis, avoid being detected by antivirus software, and can be remotely disabled and deleted by the operator.”
As per Kaspersky researchers, Pegasus is modular malware. After scanning the target device, it installs the necessary modules to read user messages and emails, answer calls, take screenshots, record keystrokes, filter browsers History, contacts, etc.
Basically, it can spy on every aspect of the target's life."
How to remove pegasus
Several analysts and cybersecurity experts pointed out that the only way to completely get rid of Pegasus is to discard the affected phone. According to Citizen Lab, even a factory reset of your smartphone will not help, because it cannot delete Pegasus.
Even if your device is no longer infected, the attacker can continue to access your online account.
Therefore, the only way to get rid of Pegasus completely is to abandon your phone and make sure that all the applications you reinstall on your new phone are up to date.
To ensure the security of your online account, you should also change the passwords of all cloud-based applications and services you use on the infected device.
Is Pegasus a concern for me
Not really. There are two reasons for this.
One - Pegasus is now old-fashioned spyware. It has been thoroughly researched, and companies like WhatsApp, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others have fixed security vulnerabilities in their software that previously allowed Pegasus to function.
New variants of Pegasus or similar spyware may still be powerful.
Two - Pegasus or something like Pegasus is expensive to purchase (calculated in millions of dollars and requires complicated processing), so it may only be used by large organizations and governments.
At any time, these tools should only be used to deal with hundreds of people. Or less. In other words, software like Pegasus is mainly used to deal with journalists, lawyers, senior business leaders, politicians, and people who might have access to top-secret information.
If it is not one of them, you or your phone may not find something like Pegasus.