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How can Pegasus spyware bypass the security of your phone or apps?

It doesn’t matter if you are using Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp, it doesn’t matter if your system is iOS or Android, the spyware Pegasus can bypass your phone’s security and gain full access to your device without you even noticing.

What is Pegasus and how has it evolved over the years?

Pegasus, the notorious spyware, was created in 2010, but it wasn’t until six years later that its existence was revealed following an intriguing phishing incident. In 2016, a human rights activist received a text message promising information about alleged prisoner abuse in the United Arab Emirates. Instead of acting impulsively, the recipient decided to take cautious action and shared the message with the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, an organization specializing in the study of online threats at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

In collaboration with Lookout, a foundation dedicated to security and privacy, researchers discovered that Pegasus used malware to exploit a design vulnerability in iPhone devices, allowing it to gain unrestricted access.

Developed by NSO Group, a cyber intelligence company based in Israel, Pegasus has constantly evolved, anticipating the security measures adopted by Apple to protect the iOS and Android operating systems. This spyware has evolved from its initial spread via short text messages to the implementation of “Zero click” attacks. This is alarming as it does not require the user to take any action from their device. It can be introduced by simply sending a WhatsApp or iMessage message or by making a missed call without the need for the other party to read or answer the message. Pegasus camouflages itself practically undetectably on both iOS and Android, being highly effective in what are known as Zero day attacks, in which the phone manufacturer has no prior knowledge of the exploited vulnerability.

Who has Pegasus spied on?

Pegasus has been used by governments and entities for the purpose of spying on a wide range of individuals and organizations around the world. Targets include journalists, human rights activists, politicians, democracy advocates and other actors who are considered a threat or who possess information valuable to the interests of those who use this software.

Some notorious cases of spying with Pegasus have been reported in countries such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Reports suggest it has been used to spy on critical journalists, political opponents, human rights lawyers and other individuals fighting for transparency and justice.

More than 600 government officials and politicians from 34 countries are on the Project Pegasus list including 10 Prime Ministers, three Presidents and one King. Nowadays it can be used to spy on any device.

How does the Pegasus virus get to your phone?

There are two ways, the first is with “Zero click” attacks. It can be entered by simply sending a WhatsApp or iMessage message or by making a missed call without the other party needing to read or respond to the message. And, once the entry into the device has been achieved, Pegasus is responsible for deleting the sent message so as not to leave a trace. In other words, a phone can be attacked without its user being aware at any time. If the “Zero click” attack doesn’t work, cybercriminals identify a vulnerability in an application typically used to call, email or send messages, then use social engineering to trick you, either with a call, an email , a message or any other technique they can use to make you fall. Once you give them access by clicking on a link, the exploit allows the malware to infect the device remotely and the virus can be used to spy on and extract data from the phone without even the owner noticing.

How to suspect that your phone could have the Pegasus Virus or some other Virus?

As such, spyware, by design, is invisible to users. So you should look for other signs in your phone’s performance. For example, faster battery consumption, unexpected phone restarts, unknown calls, and unusual data consumption. Also, the screen is activated when the phone is locked or the appearance of applications that you did not previously install.

Protect yourself from Pegasus and any other malware with Encriptados.

At Encriptados we have the best digital security and secure communications tools with which you can confront Pegasus and any other software that tries to access your information. To protect yourself against Pegasus, it is best to have complete systems, encrypted Cell Phones with military security and MDMs that protect the entire phone so that it cannot be compromised even by Pegasus.

You will be able to communicate securely and rest assured that all the information you share will be free from the eyes of malicious third parties. Our brands are anti Pegasus cell phones that offer the security and privacy you need.

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