How to find out if your phone is infected by the Pegasus spyware

Pegasus spyware: Phones of hundreds of people across the world have been found to be infected by the Pegasus spyware. The spyware is developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group and it can remotely track and perform complete data extraction without leaving any traces. Researchers at Amnesty International have developed a toolkit to check if your phone is infected by the Pegasus spyware.

What is Pegasus issue in india

Israeli firm NSO Group’s flagship software, Pegasus, is in the news yet again – this time, for being used to spy on businessmen, politicians, journalists, and in some cases, even prime ministers.

A global collaborative investigative project has discovered Israeli spyware Pegasus was used to target thousands of people across the world. In India, at least 300 people are believed to have been targeting, including two serving Ministers in the Narendra Modi government, three Opposition leaders, one constitutional authority, several journalists, and business persons.

Forbidden Stories received a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers – this also includes potential targets. A review of dozens of phones confirmed the presence of the Pegasus spyware. While we have confirmation of over 1,000 people, so far, it is likely that there are several more users who have been infected but don’t know yet.

Now, you can find out if your phone is infected by the Pegasus spyware using a free and open-source toolkit.

How to find out if your phone is infected by the Pegasus spyware?

Researchers at Amnesty have worked to create a toolkit to find out if your phone is infected by the Pegasus spyware. The toolkit is open source and has been published on Github, allowing everyone to inspect the source code and verify if it is reliable.

The Mobile Verification Toolkit can be used for both iOS as well as Android devices. It uses a command-line interface, so it may not seem very user-friendly at first, but detailed documentation has been published with usage instructions.

The toolkit requires the installation of Python dependencies – these are available on the MVT website along with instructions.

The toolkit analyses your iPhone’s backup copy to look for traces of the Pegasus spyware. On Android phones, it analyses the Android app installation files (usually called APK), or an Android backup to look for suspicious SMS.

The toolkit uses VirusTotal and Koodous to run checks on the APKs it extracts during the process.

What does the Pegasus spyware do?

According to the software’s description on the NSO Group’s website, the Pegasus spyware is capable of complete data extraction from the victim’s phone.

What makes this software worse is that it can be used for remote and stealth monitoring, without the victim even realizing that they are being watched.

The NSO Group’s website notes that the spyware can extract data remotely via untraceable commands.

The Pegasus spyware could essentially make it unnecessary to have physical access to a device to spy on victims.

For instance, iPhones, which are usually touted for being secure, reportedly have a gaping security issue in iMessage that allows remote access and duplication of data.

How to remove Pegasus iOS and android spyware

Removing spyware from mobile becomes crucial for preserving your identity as well as other sensitive information. The following steps tell us how to remove such malware from your devices:

Step 1: Updating the devices as soon as newer updates are available. More attention should be paid to the installation of security updates. This is the only way by which you can protect your iPhone to avoid further attacks. Once any malware is detected, Apple releases software updates and tries to eliminate the cause.

Step 2: Installation of good and free malware removal software on all the devices that are owned. Such a security solution is not yet available for iOS but is present in android devices.

Step 3: To pay special attention in order to refrain from becoming victims of phishing activity. Targeted phishing or spear-phishing can be avoided by considering the links to click on carefully. Otherwise one might fall prey to phishing activities.

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