Recently Pegasus Spyware has infected tons of smartphones across the world and it becomes a hot topic for the news. But what if you are among those users whose smartphones are also hacked by this spyware. In this case how can you know whether your device is also infected with Pegasus or not? Detection and tracking of this modular spyware is very difficult as it does not leave any trace or footprint once it is installed on your device.
But don’t worry, there is still a way through which you can detect whether your smartphone has been infected by this Pegasus Spyware or not.
So lets know in detail what is Pegasus Spyware and how to detect whether it has infected your device or not.
What is Pegasus Spyware?
Pegasus is a type of malicious software or malware classified as a spyware because it is designed to get access and control of your device, without your knowledge, and collect your important personal information and deliver it back to the person who is using this malware to spy on you.
Pegasus is a high level spyware which is developed by a private Israeli CyberArm Company named NSO Group. This spyware is a lot different from other spywares and is designed to spy or monitor the targeted user through their smartphones.
As per the NSO Group, this Pegasus spyware has been especially developed for the government of other countries to investigate criminal and terror activities in their respective countries. Pegasus Spyware is being sold in the form for license to the government of other countries. With one license, multiple smartphones can be tracked and spied.
Using this spyware, hackers can access the important information of targeted users including their SMS, contact details, emails, call history, apps data, take screenshots and browsing history. Also it can activate the user’s smartphone camera and microphone to capture images, record videos, and audio recordings without the user’s knowledge and permission.
It can also listen to user’s voice calls, voicemails and can collect their GPS & location data. Pegasus can also listen to the user’s encrypted audio streams and read encrypted messages and chats. It can read the WhatsApp and Signal Messaging Apps encrypted chats because it steals the data before it is encrypted.
The most scary thing about this spyware is that it can hack anyone’s device at any time, due to which the user of the device does not even know that their smartphone has been hacked.
How to Detect If Your Mobile is Infected?
Pegasus Spyware is considered to be the most dangerous spyware as it does not leave any trace of proof or evidence once it is installed on user’s device. That means you will not be able to detect or know about this spyware, once your phone is hacked by it.
But a mobile toolkit has been developed by the researchers of Amnesty International that can help the users to identify and detect if their devices are infected with Pegasus Spyware or not. This toolkit is named as “Mobile Verification Toolkit“.
What is Mobile Verification Toolkit?
Mobile Verification Toolkit is a tool designed by the researchers of Amnesty International to identify whether a Android or iOS device has been tampered and hacked and to detect if a device is infected with Pegasus spyware. According to the researchers of Amnesty International, the iPhone and iOS devices are more vulnerable to this spyware than the Android devices. However, this MVT tool is able to detect and estimate whether there are Indicators of Compromise (IOC) used by the Pegasus spyware manufacturer to infect that device.
How Does Mobile Verification Toolkit Work?
Mobile Verification Toolkit is able to read the iPhone’s backup data and check for any signs of device tampering by Pegasus-related domains that may appear in a device backup. After that it notifies the user of the device whether such Indicators of Compromise (IOC) exists in their device or not.
For the Android devices, this toolkit checks the backup for any links sent to you through Messages or Emails from the domains of NSO Group, while checking the integrity of all the apps installed on your device to verify that whether they have been tampered with or not.
MVT Availability and Price
Amnesty International provides Mobile Verification Toolkit for free of cost on GitHub, but for the time being, it relies on a Command-Line Interface (CLI), that means normal users may not find it very user-friendly. Users who are comfortable in typing comments can try this feature to check if their device has bee infected by the Pegasus spyware.