What Is Pegasus Spyware
Pegasus is spyware that was developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones running most versions of iOS and Android. The 2021 Project Pegasus revelations suggest that current Pegasus software is able to exploit all recent iOS versions up to iOS 14.6.
According to the rumors and media reports Pegasus not only enables the keystroke monitoring of all communications from a phone (texts, emails, web searches) but it also enables phone call and location tracking, while also permitting NSO Group to hijack both the mobile phone’s microphone and camera, thus turning it into a constant surveillance device.
History Of Pegasus Spyware
Pegasus was discovered in August 2018 after a failed attempt at installing it on an iPhone belonging to a human rights activist led to an investigation revealing details about the spyware, its abilities, and the security vulnerabilities it exploited. As of 2016, Pegasus was capable of reading text messages, tracking calls, collecting passwords, tracking location, accessing the target device’s microphone and camera and harvesting information from apps.
The company had previously been owned by American private equity firm Francisco Partners, then bought back by the founders in 2019. 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.
Self-destruction Feature In Pegasus
Pegasus hides itself as far as is possible and self-destructs in an attempt to eliminate evidence if unable to communicate with its command-and-control server for over 60 days, or if on the wrong device. Pegasus can also do this on command.
Uses Of Pegasus
Pegasus is very useful and there are some uses of pegasus-
1. Mexican drug cartels
Reversing the intended use against criminals, Pegasus has been used to target and intimidate Mexican journalists by drug cartels and cartel-entwined government actors.
2. Saudi Arabia
Pegasus software, whose sales are licensed by the government of Israel to foreign governments, helped Saudi Arabia spy on Jamal Kashoggi, who was later killed in Turkey.
Pegasus was also used to spy on Jeff Bezos after Mohammed bin Salman, the crown-prince of Saudi Arabia, exchanged messages with him that exploited then-unknown vulnerabilities in WhatsApp.
Source: Uses Of Pegasus