If you’re wondering if ‘Pegasus’ is all over the news because everyone is suddenly obsessed with the mythical creature, we’re here to clear the air.
What is Pegasus?
Pegasus was developed by veterans of Israeli intelligence agencies and is marketed by the NSO Group as a top-tier ‘cyber intelligence solution’ which can empower law enforcement and intelligence agencies to extract data from practically any mobile device.
However, it is viewed as hacking software – or spyware, based on its use. Evidentially, it can blight billions of phones running iOS or Android operating systems and is arguably the most formidable piece of spyware ever developed.
How does the spyware make it into the phone?
The earliest version of Pegasus infected phones through ‘spear-phishing’, sending emails or texts that duped targets into clicking on pernicious links. With all the advancements, Pegasus can infect devices through “zero-click” attacks, which do not require any interaction from the phone’s owner. These exploit “zero-day” vulnerabilities –bugs in an operating system that exist without the manufacturer’s awareness of them and can’t be fixed. Thus, even the highest security cannot prevent an attack. Additionally, it can also be installed over a wireless transceiver close to the target or manually installed by stealing their phone.
Exploiting widely-used software – like WhatsApp and iMessage – is incredibly tempting because it drastically increases the number of targets Pegasus can successfully attack.
What information can it retrieve?
Once into your phone, the malware can practically turn the gadget into a 24-hour surveillance device. From copying messages you send or receive to gathering your photos, from secretly filming you through the camera to activating the microphone to recording calls, it can do it all. Call history, calendars, emails and internet browsing histories are all things that Pegasus can access.
How can we be safe?
One way to sidestep Pegasus is to change the default phone browser. As per a Pegasus brochure, “installation from browsers other than the device default (and also chrome for android based devices) is not supported by the system”.
We at Trixter prioritise your cybersecurity, which is why our solutions aim to protect you from cyber-attacks and data leaks. While there may be no method that can guarantee absolute protection against this malware, there are ample ways to fortify your device protections, and we at Trixter want to help you do that.
Click here and help us help you keep yourself safe and vigilant.
Reference: What is Pegasus?