Pegasus Spyware and The Pegasus Project that uncovered it’s Use.

The Pegasus Spyware was created by the Israeli cyber intelligence firm NSO Group to hack computers and mobile devices and retrieve data without the user’s consent.

Pegasus Spyware was first identified around 4-5 years ago when a human rights activist received a text message that was actually a phishing setup. Recently, a database of 50,000 phone numbers was leaked, and hundreds of public officials’ contacts were found in it. However, the availability of any number doesn’t mean that the respective device was successfully penetrated.

Pegasus Spyware uses a variety of endpoints to attack the devices and doesn’t require the device owner to click on the message, mail, link, etc. or to give any input to make the malware work. The Pegasus Spyware can access your text messages, emails, contacts, photos, passwords, etc. and can even operate your device mic or camera.

Pegasus Spyware is a sophisticated spyware that charges government bodies around USD 650,000 to spy on 10 iPhones or android smartphones with some additional charges like installation fee, annual maintenance, etc. Normal users do not need to worry much about it.

If spyware is as strong as Pegasus Spyware and being quite affordable as well, then don’t you think it can be misused and impact normal people lives as well? You can consider the below-mentioned points to prevent yourself from spyware like Pegasus, etc.

Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident, has filed a lawsuit against an Israeli technology company called the NSO Group for providing the Saudi government with surveillance software to spy on him and his friends.

The NSO Group, started by veterans of Unit 8200, has created controversy amid charges that its products have been misused against civil society activists around the world. Mexican journalists and activists are already suing the NSO Group, alleging that Pegasus was used to spy on them.

That may very well be the case given that the NSO Group competes with businesses like Italy’s Hacking Team, which has been accused of doing business with oppressive regimes like Sudan, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam. But Italy has never asserted that it has a moral duty to the globe. It is Israel that has though. It makes sense that Israel would use violent methods like targeted killings to protect itself. However, there is no justification for profiting from foreign persecution.

The commerce department’s finding represents a major blow to the Israeli company and reveals a deep undercurrent of concern by the US about the impact of spyware on national security. The new designation places NSO in the company of hackers from China and Russia, and comes three months after multiple cases of journalists and activists being hacked by foreign governments using the spyware.

The commerce department said it included NSO on the entity list because it believed the company was involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US.

NSO has denied targeting Macron or any French government officials with its spyware, but Israeli officials have appeared to distance the government from private weapons companies following the Pegasus Project publication.
NSO Group has said its technologies support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime, and that it will advocate for the decision to be reversed.

Staff at the company of NSO have been known to work for Israel’s Unit 8200, which is the cyber section of the Israeli Army. The unit is composed primarily of 18 – 21 year olds, and relies on recruits with the ability for rapid adaptation and speedy learning. Former soldiers have gone on to found many international IT companies.