Everything about Pegasus
It happened again. It happened again, even though most of us were claiming Whatsapp to have the most secure messaging platform.
Whatsapp is an encrypted messaging platform that allows for secure communication. According to Whatsapp’s website, “your calls and messages are encrypted so only you and the person with whom you are communicating can read or hear them. Nobody in between, not even WhatsApp,” India is also the largest market for Whatsapp. According to one report, Whatsapp has reached 400 million Indian users since July 26, 2019. This is a clear indication of its dominance in India. (WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, India’s largest market, 2019, according to a report.
Pegasus, a spyware of Israeli origin, was believed to have targeted Indian journalists, civil rights activists and lawyers in Maharashtra (Chhattisgarh), Goa, and other countries.
It spied on the conversations and contacts of Whatsapp users and challenged their end-to-end encryption!
Here are some details about Pegasus:
Through Whatsapp, the ‘Pegasus” spyware was installed on various phones.
The spyware was installed without the need for the affected people to answer.
A flaw in Whatsapp’s voice calls was exploited to remotely execute code associated with the spyware
Once the spyware is installed, it sends all details about the user to the controller, including calls, messages, and contacts. It can also be hidden on the phone and used to spy on innocent users.
It was created by NSO group, Isreali firm and affects both Android devices and Apple devices.
The first version of the Apple software was released, and then the Android version followed shortly thereafter.
Ahmed Mansoor, a UAE human rights activist, first discovered it.
Pegasus malware has affected 1400 users at the moment
Pegasus malware can also used on Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and iMessage.
It is almost impossible to trace, consumes very little battery, and can destroy itself at any time (Pegasus: A 2019 spyware that leaves no trace).
It works in three stages: initial extraction, passive sitting and monitoring, and continuous collection of personal information.
It is possible that Pegasus could have spread to other devices as well.
How can we tell if we are being affected by the Pegasus spyware?
Unfortunately, you won’t know if your computer is infected until Whatsapp informs you.
What have we accomplished so far?
Apple has patched the vulnerability with security update 9.3.5. Google claims it can identify infected phones and disable them.
What you can do
Always make sure to apply security updates and patches as soon as they become available
Software can be uninstalled and reinstalled as and when needed
Passwords should be changed every 3 months.
It is important to be vigilant about security and keep track of breaches and attacks as everything goes digital.
Even though the politics surrounding the attack on the encrypted messaging platform continue, it is certain that these types of attacks are going to continue in the future!
Pegasus: A spyware which leaves no trace (2019). Retrieved from economictimes.com: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/pegasus-a-spyware-that-leaves-no-trace/articleshow/71848150.cms WhatsApp reaches 400 million users in India, its biggest market. (2019). Retrieved from techcrunch.com: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/26/whatsapp-india-users-400-million/