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What is Pegasus?
Pegasus is a spyware brought in by the NSO group from Israeli cyber intelligence firm. This malware can hack any IOS or Android device and has the ability to steal a variety of data from the infected device. This data includes text messages, emails, key logs, audio, and information from installed applications, such as Facebook or Instagram. This spyware can record your video calls and take snaps of your photos kept in the device. Although this was released way back in 2016, it has gained a rising upsurge recently.
What does it do?
Pegasus is a malware that starts its functions with a simple phishing scheme. The owner of the targeted device gets a website URL via email, social media, text message, or any other message from the attacker. While you might wonder, your IOS devices are safe, a recent study has shown that this malware will secretly carry out a trio of zero-day exploits and jailbreak into your IOS phones. By doing this, your IOS phone has will be open to this spyware installation. Once Pegasus is installed, it begins contacting the operator’s command and control servers to receive and execute the operator’s commands.
What does Pegasus contain?
It contains malicious codes, processes, and applications that have the capacity to keep in check the activities of the affected user’s device. Instead of downloading a malicious version of each device, this malware can access and exfiltrate calls, emails, messages, and logs from applications including, Facebook, Facetime, Gmail, WhatsApp, Tango, Viber, and Skype compromising with the already pre-installed applications.
How to understand if your phone has opened a link that contains Pegasus?
After the link is clicked on, the browser immediately closes and that is the only way we understand, if our device is infected by Pegasus or not.
Can we be protected from this malware even after we click on it?
In case of IOS, if the zero day execution fails, then the overall attack fails as well. But in case of android this is not possible since in its upgraded android version, this malware has the ability to ask for permissions and by this, it will infiltrate in to the device slowly. This is done when initial rooting turns out to be unsuccessful.
Users of Pegasus
Here is a list of countries that use this malware for their own benefits. This is usually done to give data to the government to fight terrorism and get rid of heinous crimes. Some of the countries that use Pegasus are:
- Saudi Arabia
- The UAE
Why is Pegasus dangerous?
According to an investigation report given by the media outlets, this malware has targeted thousands of activists, journalists and political leaders across the world. Once their data has been retrieved, our nation will be prone to a lot of internal threats as its inside news of political governance will be prone to a risk. More than 300 Indians which includes some politicians of the ruling party and a few businessmen are said to a part of the leaked list of possible targets. So one must be very careful so that we can keep our privacy and India’s inside news safe.
How to protect ourselves from this virus?
The growing danger that is lurking in our internet should be kept in check and here are a few methods that we can take up to avoid being attacked by the malware.
- keep your apps up to date
- make sure you get them from an authentic play store
- do not go to any unknown site
- do not open unsafe links
- do not open unknown links
- use authentic apps and links for anything and everything.
- Use pins or face recognition
- enable message encryption
- You can also use the disappearing messages feature instilled in many applications now.
As we are getting more dependent on the internet, other organizations are taking this as an advantage to put us in grave danger. We must be careful with our phone operations and only do relevant upgrades. Keep your phone secure by enabling pin or face recognition in your phone. You will hardly understand when your phone will be effected by a malware. If you start to lose your data and if it gets leaked you wont be able to maintain your privacy. Its better to be safe than be sorry.
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