Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

How does spying through Pegasus occur and can it be avoided?

How does spying through Pegasus occur and can it be avoided?

An investigation revealed that journalists and opponents from several countries were spied on through the Pegasus program.
The Pegasus program of the Israeli company NSO, which allegedly served to spy on activists, journalists and opponents around the world, is a very sophisticated system that constantly exploits the vulnerabilities of smartphones.

-How does the NSO spy program work ? -

Once it is entered in the mobile phone, Pegasus exports the user's data (emails, messages, photographs, etc.) to Internet pages created by NSO, which are constantly renewed to avoid detection.

It's "like you're leaving your phone in someone else's hands," warns Alan Woodward, professor of cybersecurity at the University of Surrey (UK).

This transmission of information goes completely unnoticed by the user and it is very difficult to find any proof of this spying on Android phones. For this reason, the Amnesty International investigation, revealed on Sunday, was based on Apple mobiles.

-How is the victim's phone hacked? -

In its controversial past, well documented by Amnesty, NSO used cheat SMS, bugs in WhatsApp, iMessage, Apple Music ...

A few years ago, a user action, such as clicking on a link, was required for the phone to be hacked.

But now you don't even need this gesture from the owner for Pegasus to be able to get into your smartphone.

-How does NSO find phone bugs to get into them? -

With over a thousand employees, NSO is a large company that employs elite hackers and this allows it to constantly find phone bugs to hack into.

According to experts, it also tends to resort to the "black market" in which cybersecurity researchers, with very little morale, tend to commercialize the flaws that serve as a gateway.

The most popular faults are known as "zero days" and they are errors that no one has detected before and that are difficult to fix.

According to Bastien Bobe, Southern Europe technical director at Lookout, editor of a smartphone protection program, the most valuable "zero days" can be marketed for up to $ 2 million on iOS (Apple's operating system) and $ 2.5 million. million on Android.

-Can this type of spying be avoided? -

Yes and no.

Some simple precautions can make hacking difficult, such as updating your phone or turning it off once a day, since these types of actions make it difficult for these spyware to work.

You can also buy some programs to improve mobile security, but these have few users, "since people feel safer with their phone than with the computer," laments Bobe.

As recognized by this specialist, no action guarantees total protection.

"If someone wants to take control of a smartphone and has significant means to do so (...), such as several million or tens of millions, they will get it," he says.

For this reason, he recommends that those people who have sensitive or coveted information are better off using old non-smart mobile phones.


Simple Man 2 year ago
No my friend. It cannot be avoided. The OS backdoor(s) -every popular OS- are built-in by design, and by the (patriot) laws. The smart NSO guys did not abused any bugs, but commercialized built-in features in commercial software.

NSO just selling to law enforcement around the world what the 5 eyes and few more of their noses and tails have and use against their own journalists and activists anyway.

Do not attack NSO for making money from using built-in features in Apple, Google and Microsoft products. Instead, kindly ask the Big-Tech to protect their customers and users, for a change.

Because if it's wrong to spy on social and liberal activists and journalists, as i think it is, its wrong anywhere. And if it's right - it's right everywhere.

There is no single difference between Julian Assange in London and Edward Snowden in Moscow, or Alexei Navalnyin in Russia and Roman Protasevichin in Belarus. Or it's OK to expose government's wrong doing, or it's important to hunt wrongdoing-exposers in the name of stability, law, security, whatever.


Related Articles

Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
China has declined the US's request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to speak with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the US Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
U.S. added 517,000 jobs in January, snapping five-month string of slowing employment growth
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will block Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China