Would you like if anyone secretly hacks your phone Or keeps a watch on you via your smartphones. If they see all your personal data, messages, pictures etc. Basically, if you’re spied on!? No right. But what if it’s your own government or some agency doing it for them, while you are absolutely unaware about it. It’s possible. Let me tell you how.
As per the information of En. M. Wikipedia. Org Pegasus is a spyware developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones (and other devices) running most versions of iOS and Android. The 2021 Project Pegasus revelations suggest that the current Pegasus software can exploit all recent iOS versions up to iOS 14.6. As of 2016, Pegasus was capable of reading text messages, tracking calls, collecting passwords, location tracking, accessing the target device’s microphone and camera, and harvesting information from apps. The spyware is named after the mythical winged horse Pegasus—it is a Trojan horse that can be sent “flying through the air” to infect phones. NSO Group has published sections of contracts which require customers to use its products only for criminal and national security investigations and has stated that it has an industry-leading approach to human rights. Rather than being a specific exploit, Pegasus is a suite of exploits that uses many vulnerabilities in the system. Infection vectors include clicking links, the Photos app, the Apple Music app, and iMessage. Some of the exploits Pegasus uses are zero-click- attacks that is, they can run without any interaction from the victim. Once installed, Pegasus has been reported to be able to run arbitrary code, extract contacts, call logs, messages, photos, web browsing history, settings, as well as gather information from apps including but not limited to communications apps iMessage, Gmail, Viber, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype.
Pegasus was discovered in August 2016 after a failed installation attempt on the iPhone of a human rights activist led to an investigation revealing details about the spyware, its abilities, and the security vulnerabilities it exploited. News of the spyware caused significant media coverage. It was called the “most sophisticated” smartphone attack ever, and marked the first time that a malicious remote exploit using jailbreak to gain unrestricted access to an iPhone had been detected. On August 23, 2020, according to intelligence obtained by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, NSO Group sold Pegasus spyware software for hundreds of millions of US dollars to the United Arab Emirates and the other Gulf States, for surveillance of anti-regime activists, journalists, and political leaders from rival nations, with encouragement and mediation by the Israeli government. Later, in December 2020, the Al Jazeera investigative show The Tip of the Iceberg, Spy partners, exclusively covered Pegasus and its penetration into the phones of media professionals and activists; and its use by Israel to eavesdrop on both opponents and allies. In late 2019, Facebook initiated a suit against NSO, claiming that Pegasus had been used to intercept the WhatsApp communications of a number of activists, journalists, and bureaucrats in India, leading to accusations that the Indian government was involved.
THE CURRENT AFFAIRS
A leak of a list of over 50,000 phone numbers believed to have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016 became available to Paris-based media nonprofit organisation Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International. They shared the information with seventeen news media organisations in what has been called “Project Pegasus”, and a months-long investigation was carried out, which reported from mid-July 2021. A total of 300 Phone numbers including that of Indian ministers, opposition leaders, ex-election commissioners and journalists were allegedly found on a database of NSO hacking targets by Project Pegasus in mid July. Independent digital forensic analysis conducted on 10 Indian phones whose numbers were present in the data showed signs of either an attempted or successful Pegasus hack. The results of the forensic analysis threw up shows sequential correlations between the time and date a phone number is entered in the list and the beginning of surveillance. The gap usually ranges between a few minutes and a couple of hours. 11 phone numbers associated with a female employee of the Supreme Court of India and her immediate family, who accused the former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, of sexual harrasment, are also allegedly found on a database indicating possibility of their phones being snooped. However, the crucial investigations are still being carried forward by officials.