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What Are Spyware(Pegasus) and Hacking?

Mohammad Azharuddin Badekhanavar
Mohammad Azharuddin Badekhanavar
Mohammad Azharuddin Badekhanavar, Chief Technology Officer at ACCURA Tequipment. He is a renowned Cyber Security Expert, Commonwealth Innovation Award 2021 recipient, a thought leader and a record-holder for conducting IT training sessions for Teachers.

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In the current world, we are all digitally connected to each other. We rely on computing equipment for everyday jobs. These devices can also be laptops, desktops, and mobile phones with internet-connected devices such as smart bulbs, smart refrigerators, and smart TVs. Currently, when you’re calling, and your phone is using 3G or advanced protocols, you’re making digital calls through computing technology.

All these computing devices have a brain, the software that operates them. This software can be of many types, such as operating systems to operate devices. Examples of this are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Unix, and Linux. Operating systems for mobile devices are different, such as Apple’s iOS, and Google’s Android.

Software is another type that is created for a particular task, such as Microsoft Word, Apple Page, Table (Tabular) for computing documents, Microsoft Excel, or Apple Numbers. Browsers like Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox. All these software have their own uses, their own tasks they do.

There is some unwanted software as well, that damages your computing devices or your data on them called viruses. Based on their transfer from one computer to another, it is called a virus or worm. Antivirus software like McAfee, Norton, NPAV, Avast comes to identify and fight viruses, worms, and spyware.

Unwanted software is a specific category called malware. The primary purpose of installing these in your computer is misfortune. This English name is an abstract form of Malicious software. They are used on a computer to steal someone’s identity or to dent confidential information. Many malware work to send and receive unwanted emails and sending and receiving confidential and obscene messages on the computer.

The special thing is that many hackers use it in their own interest and users don’t even know what message content has been sent in the mail. It also includes tracking the cookies of your browser. These programs are used to learn about your net surfing information. Also, there are scary programs like key loggers, Trojan Horse, worms, and viruses.

Note that ads can be shown with your permission to install keyloggers or spyware on your computing device. Even your employers can also put key loggers (keyboard recorders of every activity) secretly on your computing devices given to you.

What is spyware?

Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on a computer to collect information about users without their knowledge and permission. The presence of spyware is usually hidden from users. Exclusively, Spyware is secretly installed on the user’s personal computers. However, sometimes, spyware such as keyloggers is installed by shared, corporate, or public computer owners to secretly monitor other users.

The word Spyware suggests that it is software that secretly monitors the user’s computer, while Spyware’s work is more than just surveillance. Spyware gathers different types of personal information, such as internet surfing habits and information on sites the user visits. But, Spyware can also interfere with a user’s computer control by installing additional software and redirecting web browsers. Some spyware is known to change computer settings, slowing connection speed, different homepage speed, and the functionality of other programs.

The way antivirus came to protect against the virus, in response to the outbreak of spyware, an industry of anti-spyware software has begun. Several anti-spyware laws have also been made to prevent users from secretly installing software to establish control over their computers.

What is Pegasus and what does it do?

Currently, in news headlines, Pegasus is also spyware which is most trending. Unlike other spyware, this spyware is not for spying on common people’s computing devices. This spyware is for spying on specific people’s phones. According to the Israeli manufacturer company NSO Group of this spyware, they sell this spyware to governments and investigation agencies.

This spyware is so advanced that it can hack both popular types of mobile phones and Android and iOS. Once a phone is infected by it, it can send information about every data, every activity on that phone to its server. This information includes your geographical status, your messages (SMS, WhatsApp messages, iMessage), email, internet search, phone call logs (who, when, how long), phone keyboard activity. In addition, it can also control your phone’s mic, camera and send all the information from the victim to the hacker’s server.

The biggest thing will be that you won’t even know this spy because it erases all of its own activity.

This is the spyware modular. In the beginning, a small part of it is installed on the phone. After that, it continues to download and install other modules as required or as per server instructions.

The creator is so vicious that he put a feature in it that if for any reason spyware can’t contact its command server for 60 days it removes all its modules.

The only way to get rid of it is to stop using the phone. Even after factory resetting the phone, it remains in the firmware of the phone.

Usually, unwanted software or any program like spyware or malware take advantage of any security faults and hack your phone. Sometimes your unconsciousness can be a reason for this. New patches come to close these flaws as soon as any security faults are detected, downloading and installing these patches closes the path. But ‘Pegasus’ is leading in these cases.

In the beginning version of Pegasus they used to send a link, these links were sent via SMS, email, WhatsApp. As soon as you click on this link Pegasus gets installed on your phone and your phone is hacked. But it’s an old way, most people didn’t get trapped in this trap. They searched for a fault in WhatsApp code and started hacking phones through WhatsApp, by giving just a missed call on WhatsApp. It will also delete that missed call information from your phone after your phone is hacked. WhatsApp later removed this glitch. They found faults in iMessage in Apple iPhone, they started jailbreaking iPhone by sending a message, all control of the phone goes to the hacker’s hands. Apple’s security updates will not be installed due to jailbreak.

Apple’s iOS is considered the safest mobile operating system, as of July 2021, it has given three major patches to protect phones from being infected with Pegasus. But can’t say it enough or not.

If you have the latest version of WhatsApp and other programs (apps) with iOS 14 or Android 11 then your phone is safe from old versions of Pegasus. But it’s completely possible that the creators of Pegasus have discovered new ways.


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