Scan Pegasus Spyware On Android & iOS Devices!
What is this Pegasus Spyware?
The "Pegasus" is the name of the spyware software from Israeli company NSO Group for law enforcement agencies and intelligence services.
This spyware can be installed remotely on Android and even iOS devices without the target person being aware of it - and even without the victim having to do anything, for e.g. clicking on some links or picking a call etc.
What information can Pegasus Spyware steal?
If the attackers have managed to put "Pegasus" on someone's smartphone, then they will have complete control over their device.
Attackers will then be able to copy all the data from the victim's mobile phone, can secretly activate the microphone or camera, track with GPS, record calls and can even read encrypted messages.
This trojan spyware is designed to enter smartphones of both Android and iOS and then turn them into surveillance phones.
Moreover, the spyware is not limited to only these two operating systems, Pegasus can also be installed on older Symbian and Blackberry devices, along with phones that have run out of updated operating systems.
One of the main reason for the popularity of this controversial application is likely to be the fact that "Pegasus" can be applied comparatively easily to the cell phone and this can hardly be prevented.
The human rights NGO Amnesty International was one of those who uncovered the affair. And according to their IT security expert Claudio Guarnieri - there is no effective way for a user to counter this type of attack!
How Pegasus Spyware gets installed?
The attacker only needs to enter the victim's phone number and send a message, surprisingly which does not even gets displayed on their cell phone.
Their smartphone then automatically load and install the spy software from the network, which in this case is the "Pegasus" trojan.
In fact there is no more need for the victims to click on some link or anything else. Their cell phones only need to be switched on and connected to the cellular network.
And this is not the only way with which Pegasus can be installed, for e.g. in 2019, Pegasus was able to infiltrate devices with missed calls on the WhatsApp platform.
The same can also infiltrate the smart devices via iMessage, wireless transceivers, i.e. radio transmitters and receivers that are near the victim.
So as you can see there are more than 1 method with which this spyware can be installed on to the victim's device.
How to check if Pegasus has infected your phone?
So, how do you know if Pegasus is on your phone? Well, researchers from Amnesty International have released the Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) with which users can scan their smartphones for Pegasus infestation.
However, do note that the toolkit can partially detect traces of Pegasus Spyware on iPhone and Android.
MVT process begins by first taking a full backup of the device in question and then scanning it for any indicators of compromise (IOC). It then informs the user if information from his device could be compromised and transferred to third parties.
While the toolkit works on both Android and iOS devices however using MVT could be a complex process as it requires some command line knowledge to operate right now.
However, there is a possibility of it getting a graphical user interface (GUI) update in the future.
Still if you would like to give it a try or are curious enough to check yourself then you can go ahead and download the Mobile Verification Toolkit files from GitHub.
MVT's source code is available on GitHub.
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Can I completely remove Pegasus Spyware?
According to the opinions of most security and information experts, if the device is indeed infected with Pegasus, then as of this time it may be impossible to erase all traces of it from the phone.
Even wiping out data and performing a factory data reset may not completely get rid of this nasty spyware.
According to the experts, the only way to get rid of Pegasus spyware completely is to completely delete the infected phone's content, destroy it or simply switch it off and get a new phone.
After purchasing a new phone, make sure to keep all your apps up to date and change the passwords of your cloud storage accounts that you own.
The other way for you is to directly contact Amnesty International or a security expert.
Should I Be Worried About Pegasus Infestation?
Although your smartphone, along with almost any other device, is vulnerable to Pegasus spyware, this should not be a big concern as spyware distributed by NSO customers focuses on high-profile individuals.
The Pegasus manufacturer states that it only sells its technology to verified government agencies for the purpose of combating terrorism and crime.
According to them the spyware's intent is to prevent any malicious attacks and keep an eye on suspicious people.
What do you think about this whole process?