Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Pegasus Spyware – Total Surveillance

Written By Mira Divan (Grade 5)

What is Pegasus?

Pegasus is a software that can hack into other people’s phones, track their movements and spy on what they are doing. The spyware was created by the Israeli cybersecurity firm known as NSO Group. Currently, Pegasus is only sold to government agencies to track politicians, journalists, activists, or anyone who they consider dangerous. The tool is best described as a method to have ‘total surveillance’.

No one except the government can use Pegasus because of cyber-security issues, and because the software is far too expensive. Research concludes that hacking into only 10 iPhones would cost over a million dollars.

How does Pegasus work?

Pegasus is a ‘zero-click exploit’ software. It does not require the victim to press any key or option. Pegasus infiltrates devices through bugs. Bugs are little imperfections in code that creates problems for users. Many popular apps, like WhatsApp and iMessage, have bugs, through which Pegasus can enter them. Apart from bugs, Pegasus also breaks into unsecured websites. All of this happens in milliseconds, without the victim noticing anything at all. The software secretly unlocks the target’s phone and gets access to all their contacts, activities, phone conversations and browser history. It can collect all this information and transfer it to another device without the user’s permission.

Is there any protection against Pegasus?

The person whose phone is being infiltrated won’t know anything and will be left completely vulnerable. There is no known protection against Pegasus, but simple things like updating apps regularly, not vising websites which don’t have the ‘HTTPS’ protocol and not clicking on unknown links could help.

Pegasus is a powerful weapon that can either save the world from terrorists or destroy the world’s privacy. 

Featured Image Courtesy – The Indian Express


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