Cyber security company Kaspersky states that with the help of Pegasus, you can hack encrypted audio and messages, which are accessible only to the sender and receiver.
How Israel’s Pegasus spyware works (symbolic photo)
Israel’s Pegasus spyware (Israeli Spyware Pegasus) once again came into controversy on Sunday. It is being claimed that many countries including India are spying on journalists and celebrities with its help. However, the Government of India has rejected all the allegations. It is not that Pegasus, developed by the Israeli security company NSO, has been embroiled in controversies for the first time. Governments like Mexico and Saudi Arabia have been questioned about its use. Many countries have bought Pegasus spyware.
It is not officially known whether India has bought Pegasus spyware or not. A dispute of Pegasus is also going on with Facebook and the social media company has also filed a case against it. Pegasus manufacturer NSO denies all allegations. It says it only sells it to accredited government agencies to “fight terrorism and crime” and the countries that buy it make the same claim about the use of Pegasus. However, some countries have come under the scanner due to its ‘serious allegations of misuse’.
First revealed information in 2016
In such a situation, the question is what is Pegasus and how is it used? Actually Pegasus is a spyware developed by Israeli cyber security company NSO Group Technologies. With the help of this program, hackers can hack the microphone, camera, audio and text messages, email and location of the smartphone. According to a BBC report, cyber security company Kaspersky states that with the help of Pegasus, you can hack encrypted audio and messages.
The report states that for the first time information related to Pegasus was revealed in 2016 through a human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates. UAE human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor received several messages that he found suspicious. He contacted the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and cyber security firm Lookout. Investigation revealed that if he had clicked on the link which came in the form of a message, then his mobile would have been hacked. Researchers called it a ‘complex attack’.
Mexico government came under question
After this, in 2017, the government of Mexico was accused of misusing Pegasus. A report claimed that the government, with the help of Pegasus, has prepared a device with the help of which mobile spying can be done. It was claimed that the government had used it against social activists, journalists and human rights activists. The report said that the Israeli company sold Pegasus to Mexico only on the condition that the government would use it against criminals.
The New York Times report states that Pegasus can control smartphone calls, texts as well as microphone or camera. NSO’s dispute with Facebook began in 2020 when a report said that the group used a website and domain that looked like Facebook to spread hacking software. It was claimed that the company used US servers for this. However, the Israeli company denied these allegations.
old relationship with controversies
There is also a legal battle going on between the two which started in 2019. Facebook had alleged that NSO spread its software through WhatsApp. Facebook said that with its help the smartphones of journalists and human rights activists were targeted. Apart from this, NSO is also facing charges of selling software to Saudi Arabia which was used in espionage before the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In December 2020, the company was accused of allegedly hacking the phones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists. Citizen Lab, in its report, had disclosed that 36 members, including journalists and officials, were allegedly victims of hacking.
The company has been giving cleanliness
The company has always denied these allegations. In a California court, the company said that its spyware is used only by sovereign governments. He said that NSO does not use Pegasus. The company said that its products are given only to recognized government agencies and only they are allowed to use it.
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