Pegasus, developed by Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group is a spyware that can be secretly installed on your Android and IOS smartphones. It is a Trojan horse that can be sent through various means to infect your devices.
iPhones have been targeted mostly through Apple’s iMessage app and the push notification service. In 2019 WhatsApp blamed the NSO group for using a vulnerability in its video-calling feature. User’s receive a call but once a phone rang the code is secretly transmitted and your data is leaked.
What is a Spyware?
A Spyware is a software that behaves in evil ways through which it gathers information about one’s personal data or an organization. These softwares send data to another customer or agency that uses this information to harm that organization or the person.
All types of devices are target of this spyware. This spyware may act like a legitimate software or a link to your favorite or most used website. The main goal of these spywares are to install, hack into the network, avoid detection, steal data and then remove themselves from the network.
Spywares are categorized into four types: Adware, System Monitors, Web Tracking and Trojans. These spywares are difficult to detect and are mostly hidden from the users. They can access all your data, even your personal chats and your camera too.
What is Pegasus Spyware?
Pegasus Spyware is a malicious software that runs on Android and IOS devices. Pegasus Spyware was first identified in August 2016. The New York Times and The Times of Israel both said that this spyware was used by United Arab Empires as early as 2013.
Pegasus doesn’t focus on one aspect of the exploit, but it is a collection of exploits. It uses various vulnerabilities in the device to access your data.
Pegasus keeps itself hidden as far as possible and if it can not get in touch with its control server for more than 60 days then it self-destructs to get rid of the evidence that it was present in your Android or Apple devices.
How Pegasus Spyware Effects Smartphones?
Pegasus Spyware effects smartphones and apple phones in various ways. The infection of this spyware is done through one click on various links, Photos app, Apple Music app and iMessage.
Some Pegasus Spyware are zero click infection. This means that they can infect your devices without any click or interaction with the user.
Once it gets installed, it uses random codes to get your call records, text messages, photos, web browser history, settings and gather all information related to other apps installed on your phone.
It can even control your camera and microphone. What you speak or what others around you speak, what your camera sees, everything goes to the host of the spyware.
How to protect yourself from Pegasus Spyware?
These are the steps/things you can keep in mind to keep yourself same from the Pegasus or other spyware attacks like this.
- Don’t open links you do not trust. These links are basically like promotional messages or some offers and like the links used for scamming people.
- Keep your device up to date. When your device is up-to-date it is installed with the latest patch for security which helps in protecting from spyware.
- Secure your device by enabling pin, face or fingerprint locks. Dual Authentication also helps in securing your device.
- Use secure passwords or difficult passwords that are not easy to crack. These passwords contain numeric, symbols and alphabet as their combination.
- Get yourself an antivirus from a trusted company. Antivirus protects your device from softwares that are from untrusted resources.
- Try to avoid free or public Wi-Fi services. With free Wi-Fi, you are most likely to be victim of spyware attack.
- Encrypt your device and try to enable features like remote wipe.