What is Pegasus spyware and why is everyone talking about it around the world right now? In simple words: It is basically a sophisticated spyware used by top officials and governments to snoop on phones of prominent personalists such as politicians, journalists, and so on. Everyone is talking about the spyware because some latest reports suggest that the spyware has been used to snoop on mobile phones of ministers, oppositions, journalists, businessmen and so on, around the world including India. Also Read – Pegasus spyware affected many Indians: What is it, how to protect your phone from it
This is not the first time that we are hearing about Pegasus spyware affecting mobile phone users around the world. It was back in the year 2016 that researchers detected the presence of the spyware but Pegasus came into the notice of the general public back in the year 2019 when it the spyware reportedly was used for snooping on journalists and human rights activists worldwide including India. Also Read – Almost 5,000 Indian mobile users are stalking their partners using spyware: Report
The latest news of Pegasus spyware snooping on mobile phones of many Indians has put people in a tensed situation. But should you worry? The answer to this should be: Yes and No. Also Read – iPhones of 36 journalists hacked using spyware by the NSO Group: Report
Pegasus is said to be a sophisticated spyware and expensive to be purchased by anyone and everyone. This suggests that not everyone will not be able to buy the spyware and use it to snoop on people they wish. Considering instances of the past and the ongoing situation, the expensive or sophisticated Pegasus spyware can only be utilized by government agencies or big organizations with massive budget.
It is also said that the spyware can only be used on select group of people. In most instances we have seen it has been used against a group of journalists, lawyers, top business leaders, politicians, mostly people who likely have some secret information related to something big. So, if you are a commoner, with a simple job and no connection to any of the aforementioned group of people, it is likely that your mobile phone hasn’t been tapped by the spyware. So, you shouldn’t worry about the Pegasus spyware affecting your mobile device.
Even though you are a commoner and do not belong to one of those groups with top-secret information, you should be careful and not click on any suspicious links you receive as a text or WhatsApp message/call. If not Pegasus, there are several other spyware present around the world that hackers and scammers use to steal your data and money.
Researchers have found that Pegasus initially used to gain access to a mobile phone via a malicious web link sent through a message/email. Once a user clicked on the link, Pegasus would get installed on the mobile device.
With time, the spyware has also gained new abilities. Researchers have now discovered that Pegasus most often get installed on the phone with just a missed WhatsApp call or a missed call. It is said that once Pegasus has been installed to a device, it could delete any call logs. This makes it even more difficult for the victim of the attack to know that their phone was a target by Pegasus.
So, whether you belong to the special group of people or not, you must be careful from such spyware and should not click on unverified links or pick calls from unknown phone numbers, especially the suspicious ones.