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5 EU countries are using Pegasus Spyware to steal information and here’s all you need to know about it

Spyware is something we are usually used to seeing in suspense movies or ones featuring spies, but if we tell you that spyware exists in real life and is used by governments to gather information about their citizens.

Spyware is software that can be used to gather data about a person or an organization for malicious uses. The spyware in question is the NSO Pegasus spyware which is distributed by NSO Group. They purchase zero-day security vulnerabilities (software problems which are unknown to the manufacturing company and the vendor) from hackers. Then it is used to create a spyware called Pegasus that is sold to governments and Law enforcement agencies. The dangerous thing is that in order to steal your information they simply need to send you a text and not interacting with it is the thing that allows them to achieve their purpose.

Many important people like Prime Ministers, US State Department officials, senior EU officials, journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists have had their iPhones hacked by Pegasus using this trick.

But the good news is that there are steps being taken to ensure the safety of people’s personal information. The United States has banned the import and the usage of Pegasus in the country. This step has deprived Pegasus of its main consumers, US law enforcement agencies. Apple also deepened the amount of hot water NSO was in by suing them and by alerting the people whose phones have been infected.

The company says that it takes care while choosing people to sell to but only a small number of people believe it and to be honest it is not exactly believable. Also last year when the company was very down on money the CEO was ready to throw out the meager moral code that the company operates by.

This Israeli software company has already sold to at least 5 European Union countries as reported by Politico. The company has also terminated a contract with another European Union member country because the country in question was abusing its Pegasus surveillance software. All this was revealed on Tuesday by the company while talking to European Lawmakers.

In the same talk NSO Group’s General Counsel Chaim Gelfand claimed that even though the company has made mistakes in the past, it had taken steps to ensure that misuse is prevented by canceling contracts with a particular organization when any evidence of software abuse came to light. Thus they also gave up a huge amount of money.

There is an investigation going on regarding NSO and Pegasus which already has progressed 3 months and an interim report was released that revealed some nasty facts about the company and its software.


Illustration by vectorjuice/Freepik

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