Hype is going on for a spyware software called Pegasus developed by an Israeli-based company called NSO group. The word Pegasus comes from Greek mythology representing a mythological white horse with wings. Today in our modern world, Pegasus is spyware that hacks into your computer or smartphone and gives your data to other people. They can access the camera, even record your video through the device's camera or other data like your WhatsApp chats or photos. They can extract it and give it to someone else. They can spy. This scam is dangerous and outrageous, a scam like this has never been seen anywhere in the world. Most people cannot understand the impact it has on the world. The investigation for this scam has begun in many countries by various investigation agencies.
There is a question in every mind, how this Pegasus software enters your phone? Earlier you would have gotten a link through SMS or on WhatsApp then your phone could have been infected. But today, they improved their technology so much that you did not even have to click on the link. They will send you a WhatsApp message or give a missed call on your number. Even if you do not receive the call, the Pegasus spyware still infects your phone. That is why it is so dangerous and shocking that they only need our phone number. It can attack both, android and ISO devices. Once it infects the phone, it can virtually do anything like reading your WhatsApp chats and messages, recording your phone calls, monitoring the number you have called, accessing your photos, getting your location by tracking your GPS, turning on your phone’s camera, or microphone to record you secretly, and all your passwords and contact details, it can access everything on your phone.
The biggest question is that why was such spyware is created? NSO claims that to create Pegasus for government intelligence and law enforcement agencies so that they can use this to fight crime and terrorism. For example, the Mexican government said, "They used this software to catch the Mexican drug lord El Chapo." You are probably thinking this is brilliant spyware it can use to round up all the terrorists and criminals of the world. But then comes the twist in this story. France-based NGO called Forbidden stories leaked data with the help of the Amnesty International team to expose a list with more than 50,000 people phone numbers. They claim that the phone number belongs to the people who had already been spied on using Pegasus or they are the potential targets for being spied on in the future. Most of the people who were on the list are politicians, journalists, and businessmen.
Talking about India, this list had the name of 300 people spied by this software. Major names on the list are Rahul Gandhi and his two close advisors. Rahul Gandhi openly claimed that his phone was tapped and this software was in his phone. Another big name on this list is election strategist Prasant Kishore who said that he had to change his phone five times because he guessed that his phone was under spy attack. Even Mamta Banerjee's nephew Abhisekh Banerjee and many other big names like VHP head Pravin Togadia, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnav, former CBI chief Alok Verma name also on the list. Among the journalist, there is the name of freelance journalist Rohini Singh as she broke the story on the Jay Shah, how the profit of Jay Shah company had increased 1600 times within one year. Additionally, Swati Chaturvedi, former Indian express editor, Sushant Singh, and many names were included in this list. Still, our Indian media is doing its best to show it up as an international plot and then assure the people that it is insignificant and sweep the story under rug.
What can you do to protect your devices?
To be protected from such Pegasus level hacking, doing something is next to impossible. The only thing you can do is not to share phone numbers with people other than your very close friend or family members. You also ensure that your phone data is not being consumed on a large scale. If your battery is draining fast without any reason, you can also protect your privacy by using the VPN. VPN helps you to hide your location.
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