July 29, 2021

Pegasus – Privacy on the Verge of Extinction

The Pegasus which was used to track only the terrorists and criminals, in fact, save lives said by the CEO is now a nightmare to all the government officials also.
Pegasus Privacy

When the whole world is much concerned about the third phase of Covid, Indian politics is burning with the issue of Pegasus Privacy Killer Spyware.

Among 50,000 phone numbers, 300 verified phone numbers are causing concern in Indian politics including ministers, opposition leaders, journalists, and even several activists, and business moguls.

Built by an Israeli software company, NSO Group, the Pegasus project is a powerful spyware that can affect your phone and collect all the private information like malicious software does to your computer.

Though this is not new in Indian history, it has already infected some of the foreign countries also. According to the Washington Post, this spyware was used for two women’s smartphones related to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

Pegasus Misuse

Though the authorities of the numbers are still in a fog, Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International drove an investigation. According to them,  they were able to identify more than 1000 people whose phones have been tapped around the world. When asked about the authenticity of such news, NSO CEO Shalev Hulio said,

The company cares about journalists and activists and civil society in general. We understand that in some circumstances our customers might misuse the system and, in some cases like we reported in [NSO’s] Transparency and Responsibility Report, we have shut down systems for customers who have misused the system.

It is clear that the CEO is defending his company. He added,

Every allegation about the misuse of the system is concerning me,” he said. “It violates the trust that we give customers. We are investigating every allegation.”

Countries Affected with Pegasus Spyware

The countries affected by the Pegasus project include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, and more that accumulate 50,000 numbers as per the investigation of the Citizen Lab, Forbidden Stories, and Amnesty International. Mostly Mexico has been greatly affected by the spyware with 15,000 numbers.

The Pegasus which was used to track only the terrorists and criminals, in fact, save lives said by the CEO is now a nightmare to all the government officials also.

By now 136 potential names have been published by The Wire, the question remains when the rest of the names will be unfolded.

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