Pegasus Spyware is one name that rings a bell and alerts each one of us. Pegasus attack WhatsApp – a piece of news that first hit the market in May. It is back in news again. A Facebook-owned company the sue NSO Group for allegedly helping spies hack the mobile phones and devices across the globe. While this move was considered unprecedented by some people, it also revived governments about the requirement to safeguard the privacy of their citizens, and to seek some tough questions from WhatsApp. Apart from this, there were also a couple of feature updates. With the Pegasus WhatsApp hack, there has been a lot of confusion doing the rounds.
WhatsApp has been in news for the last many days, or a few weeks, because of the Pegasus WhatsApp Hack. Recently, WhatsApp sued the NSO Group for its surveillance tool – Pegasus. The lawsuit was filed in the United States court. The suit alleged the Israel based firm had illegally helped governments in different parts of the world to hack the mobile devices for more than a hundred identified people globally. This hack includes the phones of lawyers, journalists, religious figures, human rights activists, and those who had been in news or had been the subject of online attacks.
The filed lawsuit is the first attempt by WhatsApp to start legal action against those who used its social networking platform for conducting illegitimate surveillance. A hacking tool developed by Israel based NSO Group – Pegasus – is believed to be used by Governments in different parts of the world to gain access to mobile devices of the victims. The technique used, first reported back in May 2019, exploited a susceptibility to plant spyware onto the phones of the users via a missed video call.
It is strongly believed that the Pegasus Spyware developed by the NSO Group allowed the hackers and bad actors to conduct several types of surveillance activities such as intercept data, communications, and photos, activate the microphones and camera of the device, and track the location of the user. The vulnerability and possibility of damage first surfaced in May, even before the reports emerged, and users of WhatsApp were at the point where they were urged by the company to update their apps. Approximately, 14,000 people have been warned by the company, saying that they may have been the victims of this spyware attack.
You need to know that the Pegasus Malware Spyware tool is also known by several other names such as Trident and Q Suite. It can exploit both iOS and Android-based devices, making use of several attack vendors. According to reports, the Pegasus spyware has been around for nearly three years, and can easily provide access to a variety of crucial information from an infected gadget. Going by what Citizen Lab has to say, the spyware has been used in forty-five nations.
The NSO Group has responded to the lawsuit filed by WhatsApp by rejecting the allegations, saying that Pegasus Spyware is used for fighting a war against terrorism, not to enable any type of illegal surveillance. It also said that the clients are contractually bound and obligated to limit the usage of its technology for preventing terrorism and crime – and that using the software for any other reason or purpose was a misuse. NSO said, “In the strongest possible terms, we dispute today’s allegations and will vigorously fight them.”
WhatsApp has confirmed that the Pegasus malware Spyware had been used for targeting Indian journalists and activists, whereas another report stated that the government officials and personnel in twenty nations had been the target of this hack. The Indian Government has demanded WhatsApp explained this breach, and also brief what steps and measures the company is taking to safeguard the privacy of its citizens. A report citing people who are familiar with the matter claimed that the Government of India was concerned by WhatsApp had not revealed and shared the details about the breach in past meetings, and rather couched the details within “technical jargon.”
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