The right to privacy and many similar laws seems to be a blur for the Modi government. The latest feat they pulled off is spying on the Indian People using Pegasus spyware.
More than 50,000 phone numbers were targeted by Pegasus spyware produced by NSO Group, an Israeli software business, according to the Pegasus Project, an international media consortium investigation. There were 300 confirmed phone numbers in India on the list, including ministers, opposition leaders, a sitting judge’s, over 40 journalists’, activists’, and businesspeople’s phone numbers.
Spyware is any harmful programme that infiltrates your computer, collects your data, and sends it to a third party without your permission.
NSO Group’s Pegasus is arguably the most potent malware ever built. Its goal is to penetrate Android and iOS cellphones and transform them into surveillance devices.
How does it Function:
Pegasus takes use of flaws and vulnerabilities in Android and iOS that have yet to be detected. This means that a phone might be compromised even if it is updated with the newest security patch.
A previous version of the malware, which was released in 2016, attacked cellphones via a tactic known as “spear-fishing,” which involved sending text messages or emails to the target that contained a dangerous link.
Pegasus could enter a device with a missed WhatsApp call in 2019 and even remove the record of the missed call, making it difficult for the user to realise they were being tracked.
Pegasus also takes use of iMessage flaws to get backdoor access to millions of iPhones. A wireless transceiver (radio transmitter and receiver) near a target can also be used to instal malware.
What is it Capable of:
Pegasus can intercept and steal almost any information on a phone after it is installed, including SMSes, contacts, call history, calendars, emails, and browser histories. It can record calls and other conversations using your phone’s microphone, surreptitiously video you with its camera, and follow you using GPS.
Past and Present:
Pegasus 2016 was initially discovered on the smartphone of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor by researchers from the Canadian cybersecurity organisation The Citizen Lab.
Pegasus was utilised in 45 countries, according to a study issued by the Citizen Lab in September 2018. India was featured in the list, as was the case with the most recent discoveries.
WhatsApp disclosed in October 2019 that operators using Pegasus have been spying on Indian journalists and human rights activists.
July 2021, according to the Pegasus Project, an international investigative journalism project, many countries utilised the programme to spy on government officials, opposition politicians, journalists, activists, and others. Between 2017 and 2019, the Indian government allegedly utilised it to eavesdrop on roughly 300 people, according to the report.