Pegasus Spyware has been created by Israel-based surveillance tech company NSO Group which is known as Q Cyber Technologies. This spyware can be used to spy on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Tizen based devices.
Pegasus spyware is once again in the news. The Washington Post and 16 media partners have revealed that Pegasus is being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and business executives. About 40 journalists of India are being spied through this spyware. Let us tell you that this spyware has been created by Israel-based surveillance tech company NSO Group, also known as Q Cyber Technologies. Pegasus is not the kind of spyware that you can easily get online. For this you have to go through a long process.
NSO Group was launched in Israel in 2009 as a specialized surveillance technology solution maker. This is a well known spying product. But Pegasus is not just a product that the company sells. In addition, NSO offers a range of products that include enhancing data analytics capabilities by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, improving search and rescue efforts, and designing products that implement effective counter-measures against intrusion by drones. Although today we are going to talk about Pegasus here, how it works and who can use it, so let’s know everything about it…
Who Can Buy Pegasus Spyware?
NSO Group claims that it works only with authorized governments. Pegasus is known to be publicly used by the governments of Mexico and Panama. It has a total of 60 customers in 40 countries. The company says that 51 percent of its users are from the Intelligence Agency, 38 percent from the Law Enforcement Agency and 11 percent from the military.
The company’s website reads that “NSO Group develops best-in-class technology to help government agencies detect and prevent a wide range of local and global threats. Our products help government intelligence and law-enforcement agencies use technology to meet the challenges of encryption to prevent and investigate terror and crime. “
Does NSO Group Operate Pegasus Tool for Governments?
According to the company, NSO licenses Pegasus to sovereign states and state agencies and does not operate Pegasus. The company does not have any information about its use nor does it collect information about customers.
Is Pegasus a mass surveillance tool?
According to NSO Group, Pegasus is not a mass surveillance technology. The company has said in its Transparency and Responsibility report that it only collects data from mobile devices of specific people who are suspected to be involved in serious crimes and terror. However, further the company has also said that NSO Group does not have the information to use it because it does not operate Pegasus.
What is the cost of using Pegasus spyware?
Pegasus spyware is sold as a license and its actual cost depends on the contract. The cost of one license can be up to Rs 70 lakh and multiple smartphones can be tracked with one license. According to 2016 estimates, NSO Group charges at least Rs 9 crore to spy on 10 people using Pegasus. According to the 2016 price list, the NSO group had charged $650,000 (Rs 4.84 crore at the current exchange rate) for hacking 10 devices and $500,000 (Rs 3.75 crore) for installation. If it is added in this way, then a total expenditure of Rs 8.59 crore comes.
What data can be stolen from the phone using Pegasus?
With the Pegasus tool, attackers can get SMS records, contact details, call history, calendar records, emails, instant messaging and browsing history. According to a brochure from NSO Group, Pegasus can spy on WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and Blackberry Messenger.
In addition, Pegasus can secretly click pictures, record calls, record surrounding audio and even take screenshots without alerting the user. Once the spy mission is over, the Pegasus operator can remotely hit the kill switch on the victim’s phone to self-delete the Pegasus agent. This spyware works on devices running up to Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Tizen.
How to get Pegasus spyware installed on someone’s phone?
The biggest challenge is to install Pegasus tool in someone’s phone to spy. Phishing tools are the most popular way to install this spyware. Pegasus can be installed without knowing anyone’s phone number. If the attacker does not have the phone number or email ID of the person to be spied on, the Pegasus agent can be injected silently after obtaining the number using a tactical network element such as a base transceiver station (BTS).
What is the most important thing for Pegasus spyware to work?
Pegasus needs a core backend IT architecture to function. NSO Group Employees
Let’s install the entire facility by visiting the customer’s site. According to Pegasus’ product brochure, “NSO is responsible for deploying and configuring Pegasus hardware and software at customer premises.” The entire setup requires a web server, communication module, cellular communication module, permissions module, data storage, system security, system hardware installation, operator console and finally the Pegasus app.
What is the minimum IT hardware required to run Pegasus?
The minimum system hardware and specifications required for Pegasus to function include the operator terminal or
Standard desktop PCs are required. It includes i5 core processor, 3GB RAM memory, 320GB hard drive and Windows 7 operating system. Talking about the minimum system infrastructure, it includes two units of 42U cabinet, networking hardware, 10TB storage, 5 standard servers, UPS, cellular modem and SIM card.
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