What is Pegasus Spyware? How it Works?

Once again, Pegasus Spyware becomes trending and it is now a matter of discussion across the world. So in this scenario, there might be a lot of questions revolving in your mind about this Pegasus spyware such a what is this Pegasus Spyware? How does it works? How this spyware attacks smartphones? Should I concern about this regarding my personal data?

So, in this article I’m going to explain in detail about this Pegasus Spyware, its working and how you can prevent this spyware from stealing your important personal data present in your smartphone. And if you really concern about you personal data safety, then read this article thoroughly.

What is Pegasus Spyware?

Pegasus is a type of malicious software or malware classified as a spyware because it is designed to get access of your device, without your knowledge, and collect your personal information and deliver it back to the person who is using the software 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.

pegasus malware

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. This powerful spyware first exposed in 2016 when a human rights activist of UAE ‘Ahmed Mansoor‘ becomes the first ever target of this spyware. People believed that it was a spear phishing attack by the hackers where they try to install malware on the device using some kind of malicious links and emails.

Mainly iPhone users were the the primary target of this spyware, and it mostly take the advantage of bugs and flaws present in their device. But some how, Apple fixed the bug that Pegasus was using to hack the users device.

Also Read: How To Protect Your Social Media Accounts From Hackers?

Pegasus Steals User’s Personal Information

According to Kasperkey, a cyber security company, “Pegasus is modular malware, which after scanning the device, installs a module/code to read the user’s messages and mail on their smartphone, can listen to voice calls, take screenshots of anything, can view browser history and contacts information”. In short, it can spy on every activity on the target’s device on which it is installed”.

This Pegasus spyware 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.

How Does Pegasus Hack The Phone?

According to a Cyber Security Research Group called Citizen Lab, the hackers use different methods to install this spyware on the user’s device. In this process of installing spyware in user’s device, an “Exploit Link” is sent to the targeted device via messages or emails. As the user click on the sent link, Pegasus is automatically installed on the user’s device.

pegasus spyware

Once the spyware is installed, it can spy on each and every activity of the target and can even control the user’s smartphone. Earlier version of this spyware only used spear phishing attack to infect the smartphones with some kind of malware. It starts with sending a website URL to the user’s device via message, email or social media. Once the user click on the link, Surveillance Software Packages are automatically installed on their device by remotely rooting or jailbreaking the device.

With the passage of time and development of latest technology, NSO’s attack capability has become much stronger which makes the Pegasus Spyware even more powerful and nearly impossible to detect or prevent. The only way to prevent such kind of hacking attacks is Awareness.

Also Read: Want To Protect Your Mobile From Hackers, Then Follow These Tips

How Does Pegasus Spyware Work?

There are mainly two method through which Pegasus can spy and control your phone, i.e., through exploit link click attack and zero click attack.

In the first method, when a user click on the link sent through message or email, then this spyware is automatically installed on the user’s device.

But in the “Zero click” attack case, the spyware is automatically installed on the user’s device even if the user doesn’t click on the link. Installation of this spyware does not require any interaction with the smartphone’s owner. That means your mobile phone can still be hacked through this spyware, whether you click on the sent link or not. Because this spyware take the advantage of bugs and flaws that are present in your smartphone’s operating system.

An example of this kind of attack was reported by WhatsApp in May 2019, when Pegasus targeted a bug in the VoIP stack. Taking the advantage of this bug, hackers make a WhatsApp voice or video call on the targeted device, and install this spyware on that device, regardless of whether the user has answered the WhatsApp call or not.

For the people who are using Android smartphone, Pegasus uses a smartphone rooting process called Framaroot, that allows the spyware to steal user’s personal data directly from their smartphone.

Why is Pegasus Spyware Considered So Dangerous?

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. Apart form this, it works on a single bandwidth, which makes its detection even nor difficult. The most scary thing about this spyware is that it continues to do its work in the background even when your phone is locked.

As we all know that iPhone security and operating system is far more advance and secure than any other smartphones out there. But Pegasus has also beaten iPhone’s security and hacked the device. iPhone’s are still vulnerable to the “zero click’ attacks that are performed by Pegasus. Amnesty International’s Report reveals that this spyware has infected several iPhone models over the past years.

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