Over a dozen consisting of Lawyers, Journalists, Dalit activists, and academics were victimized through the Israel built spy software. The spy for the enemies of India and malware for India is popularly known as Pegasus. This software was used to exploit the information available on the devices of these people.
What is Pegasus? What are the consequences of its installation?
A total of 1400 people from all over the world have been a victim of this spyware. The silent working strategy makes this best weapon for fetching the information from Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Symbian-based devices. The working process of this spyware is dangerous because it can easily copy passwords, emails, texts, data, active voice calls and absolutely everything without consuming battery, data or much storage. The software works as a spy on your device and can see everything from the cameras on the device.
This spyware is quite difficult to detect. It took WhatsApp 6 months to detect the spyware on the devices of people in India. The first case of this spyware was reported in 2016 when a UAE based human rights activist noticed unusual SMS links on his iPhone 6. And since then the spyware has been through several improvements and has now become the best spyware in the market.
The very first victims of this spyware were iOS-based devices. Without Apple being aware of any of this, it decrypted all the information on devices of people who were anyway associated to make this world a better place. After increased complaints and raise in security issues when Apple looked into it, it was found that this can’t be solved. Later came out with an update and informed all the users to go for it.
But now it seems as if the spyware has advanced with time. Its ability to leave no trace on its presence inside the device and silently eating up the information for the operator’s benefit makes it dreadful for the victim.
How does it target WhatsApp?
It is said that the present version of this software doesn’t require you to click on some link or it doesn’t come pre-installed in the operating system instead now it can be installed in any device by simply leaving a missed voice call on WhatsApp.
Who are the targets of Pegasus spyware?
Based on the cases that occurred in India it could be predicted that it can target anybody but the cost of this software makes this special, hence the targets will be the people who work against the crime of any sort or are associated with the central government.
Though the absence of adequate information makes it difficult to say whether there is any particular kind of people who are targeted via this Israel based spyware. Therefore, it is advised to stay low-key as this can be bought by anyone and use against you.
What happened to WhatsApp end to end encryption? Should the use of WhatsApp be debarred?
From what has been seen it can be said that security measures on chat and sharing of information in WhatsApp chat are not being compromised. The spyware is installed via voice call feature and by default, this is not a secure way of interaction and totally vulnerable to all sorts of malware. As a result of which they use this as a way to enter one’s device and exploit the information they need.
WhatsApp is the safest platform to share the conversation. Even the popular alternative Telegram is not safe because only secret chat is an end to end encrypted but on WhatsApp, everything is end to end encrypted by default.