Even though WhatsApp claims to be a secure network, its users have been targeted by the Pegasus spyware, which is alleged to have been developed by an Israeli cyber technology corporation.
The attack appears to have been directed at journalists, attorneys, Dalit activists, and at least two dozen professors, according to The Indian Express. There’s a good chance there’ll be more. Pegasus is said to provide anyone access to the information, chats, and photographs on your phone. In short, everything!
So, is there any way to tell whether you’ve been afflicted with Pegasus? What happens if your security is breached? Here’s what you need to know
What is Pegasus?
Pegasus Spyware is a malicious software that infiltrates your computer, collects your data, and sends it to a third party without your permission.
The Israeli firm, on the other hand, promotes it as a tool for tracking criminals and terrorists — not for mass surveillance, but for targeted spying. The software is only sold to governments by NSO Group. According to a price list from 2016, NSO Group charged $650,000 for infiltrating 10 devices, plus a $5000 installation cost.
How does Pegasus spyware target devices?
Pegasus takes advantage of software flaws known as zero-day vulnerabilities, which have yet to be patched. Pegasus used to access people’s smartphones through a link that they had to physically click on. However, thanks to a so-called zero-click assault, spyware can now infiltrate your phone without you having to interact with it. It may be a WhatsApp call that you didn’t have to answer.
Pegasus is reported to be exploiting a vulnerability in Apple’s iMessage that has yet to be patched today.
How do you prevent Pegasus from infiltrating on your device?
- When using your device, only open links from known and trustworthy contacts and sources. Pegasus is distributed via an iMessage link on Apple devices. And many cybercriminals use this strategy for both virus dissemination and less technical scams. The same precautions apply to URLs received by email or other messaging apps.
- Ensure that all required patches and upgrades are installed on your device. While having a standardised operating system provides a steady platform for attackers to target, it is still your best defence.
- If you’re using Android, don’t rely on notifications for new operating system updates. Because your device’s manufacturer may not be delivering updates, you should check for the most recent version yourself.
- Although it may seem self-evident, you should keep physical access to your phone to a minimum. Enable pin, finger, or face locking on the device to accomplish this. Securely configure your gadget.
- When viewing sensitive material, stay away from public and free WiFi (including hotels). When you need to use such networks, using a VPN is a fantastic alternative.
- Encrypt your device’s data and, if accessible, use remote erase features. If your smartphone is lost or stolen, you can be assured that your data will be safe.
To help people stay safe digitally, it’s always best to proactively exercise all the security measures you can take on a regular basis.