The spyware of Israeli origin, Pegasus, has marked geopolitics in recent years, being related to ‘hacks’ suffered by technology moguls, such as the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, or the Catalan politician Roger Torrent.
A recent joint investigation by 16 media outlets maintains that this spyware, developed by the NSO Group company, which at first was only prepared to fight, supposedly, crime and terrorism, has had 50,000 targets worldwide since 2016. Thus, this software has been a weapon wielded to control its citizens, among them, politicians, journalists, officials, entrepreneurs and activists, as well as other entities.
In 2019, this software was linked to the political espionage, Y WhatsApp, the American instant messaging company claims Pegasus was used against 1,400 users, although the Israeli company denies the accusation.
According to the investigation, the Israeli company would have contracted the use of this software at least, in 11 countries: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Hungary, India, United Arab Emirates, Rwanda and Togo. Therefore, we are talking, without a doubt, about one of the most powerful information theft tools on the Internet. But how does it work?
How Pegasus works
The Pegasus functionalities are numerous and it is a tool that is constantly updated. This software can reach the mobile phone of its victims through services such as WhatsApp, iMessage o SMS with malicious links and other similar strategies. Once installed on the device, it is able to extract massive amounts of informationFrom viewing stored contacts and calls to collecting emails, text messages, recording audios and videos.
According to the research just shared, the software manages to infect mobile phones without the victim need to ‘click’ on any links. You only need to receive the message in which the code is included on your device.
Faced with this scenario, the ability to use software that exploits unknown vulnerabilities to perpetrate digital espionage has once again become apparent.