There is a lot of talk around the world about Pegasus spyware. Pegasus spyware has the ability to hack into your mobile phone and control your camera and microphone, retrieve your data, as well as GPS data about your location. Earlier, a company that made this spyware was accused of hacking WhatsApp. But now, facts about spying on political activists in India have been revealed.
At this moment, about 10 countries have been accused of using the software to spy on their opponents. Among them is neighboring India. The other countries accused are Rwanda, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Morocco. The news shocked the world with the release of a list of phone numbers identified as spying by Pegasus.
What is this Pegasus spyware? Who is NSO?
Pegasus is one of the most advanced and dangerous spyware software developed by the Israeli company NSO Group. Cyber security researchers call this the most advanced and powerful spyware currently available. It has the ability to steal all the data on the phone without the user’s permission. No matter what brand the phone is from, it will not be a reason to get rid of Pegasus. According to the latest reports, governments around the world are using this to monitor their citizens and opponents.
Can Pegasus Hack WhatsApp?
The biggest talk about Pegasus Spyware started in 2019. That comes with a report of a WhatsApp hack using Pegasus. Parent company of WhatsApp, has filed a lawsuit against Pegasus founder NSO. The main allegation is that they have installed malicious software such as spyware on more than 1,400 devices. Doing so has caused a security vulnerability in the WhatsApp service at the time.
How do Pegasus get into phones?
- By clicking on a link that containing Pegasus spyware programs.
- A cyber attack based on a vulnerability in an app in your phone.
- By manually stealing your phone and installing Pegasus programs.
- When your phone is connected to a phone that contains Pegasus spyware (WiFi, Bluetooth, Hotspot).
How to protect yourself from Pegasus spyware?
- Keep your devices and their software up to date, preferably by activating “automatic updates” on your settings. (Devices over five years old especially if they are running outdated operating systems are particularly vulnerable.)
- Use a unique, hard-to-guess password for each device, site and app you use, and avoid easily predictable ones based on your phone number, date of birth or the names of your pets.
- You should also turn on “two-factor authentication” everywhere you can. Those sites will ask not just for your password but for a second code, either sent to your phone or accessible via a separate authenticator app.
- Avoid clicking on links or attachments from people you don’t recognize. Whenever possible, activate “disappearing messages” or similar settings so communications automatically vanish after a set period of time.
Cyber researchers say that once this has entered a phone, it is almost impossible to remove. This Pegasus program does not even remove from a factory reset of the phone and this gives the relevant party the root access of an infected phone. When it is inserted into a phone, it activates in such a way that user doesn’t feels any suspicious program is running.