News August 2, 2021

Multiple news outlets are exposing an Israeli hacking software found to infiltrate phones of activists, lawyers, politicians, and journalists worldwide without their knowledge. We hear from an expert to learn more about the Pegasus spyware and what people can do to protect their privacy.

Pegasus software can gain vast amounts of information from users and monitor them at will without ever coming to know about it. – The Star,2021
Read More: NSO’s Pegasus spyware: here’s what we know


What makes Pegasus Spyware even more dangerous than other spyware?

Regular spyware most likely involves a Phishing strategy, which attaches a Malicious link that traps the person who clicked it. In contrast, Pegasus Spyware carries out a Zero-Click attack that installs itself without any user interaction required. In particular, Pegasus might be hacking your devices through a WhatsApp call even if you did not pick up the call. 

Based on history, spyware will need human interaction to get itself installed on the phone. By the way, Pegasus is using unknown vulnerabilities to spot weaknesses or loopholes in your devices. Even the device’s manufacturer has no idea about it as the spyware will install itself by spotting the weaknesses.

What can the Pegasus spyware access on our mobile devices?

  • Take over your entire identity 
  • Read your contact list
  • Send messengers on behalf of you
  • Accessing your WhatsApp
  • Taking pictures by controlling your camera
  • Recording videos and voices

Is there any specific mobile OS that is vulnerable to Pegasus Spyware?

Both Android and IOS would be vulnerable. We had heard spyware happens on Android more often as Android is much more open source compared to IOS. When it comes to Pegasus spyware in the IOS system, it is surprising that IOS was exploiting an unknown vulnerability that installed itself. 

IOS, known as the better security system environment, now is just a matter of how fast Apple can identify these weaknesses and loopholes and get the security patch done globally to fix the loopholes

How can we know if our devices are compromised?

In our current times, spyware is becoming more and more versatile. They are adaptable to the point where it is hardly identified as malicious. More so, some spywares are specially designed to latch onto well-known programs and processors.

How can the information potentially be used?

Can you possibly imagine if a third party is capable of controlling your phone? Be it access to contact lists or conversations from chat messengers, when a third party can control and gain access to your personal data; this could warrant potential user data leakage. On a separate note, monetization of personal data becomes a high potential risk.

Best practices to avoid spyware

  • Try not to install any unknown source app from the official app store, especially Android devices. 
  • Ensure we do not connect to a public wifi network that does not require a password. Hackers could set up wifi points as a trap.

About LGMS
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