Pegasus spyware is once again in the news. Various news platforms like Washington Post and 16 other media partners have revealed that Pegasus is being used to spy on journalists (Media Persons), human rights activists, and business executives.
About 40 journalists (Media Persons) of India are being spied through this spyware. Don’t Know the Reality but let’s know that What is Pegasus Spyware? and Who Can Buy?
Who is the Developer of Pegasus Spyware?
Firstly let you know that this, Spyware has been developed by Israel-based surveillance technology company NSO Group also known as Q Cyber Technologies. Pegasus Spyware is not the kind of spyware that you will easily get it online. For to get this, you have to go through a long way.
About NSO Group
NSO Group was launched in Israel in the year 2009 as a specialized surveillance technology solution maker. This is a well-known spying product-based company. But this Spyware is not just a product that the company sells.
In addition, NSO offers a range of products (Various Products) that include enhancing data analytics capabilities by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, improving search and rescue efforts, and designing products that implement effective counter-measures against intrusion by drones and many devices or gadgets. Although today we are going to discuss Pegasus Spyware here, how its works, and who can get this, so let’s know everything about this Spyware.
Who Can Buy Pegasus Spyware?
The first question in mind is Who Can Buy Pegasus Spyware? that NSO Group claims that it works only with authorized governments. Pegasus is known to be publicly used by the governments of Mexico and Panama. It has a total of 60 customers in 40 countries. The company says that 51 percent of its users are from the Intelligence Agency, 38 percent from the Law Enforcement Agency, and 11 percent from the military.
The company’s website reads that “NSO Group develops best-in-class technology to help government agencies detect and prevent a wide range of local and global threats. Our products help government intelligence and law-enforcement agencies use technology to meet the challenges of encryption to prevent and investigate terror and crime. “
Does NSO Group Operate Pegasus Tool for Governments?
According to the company (NSO Group), NSO licenses Pegasus to sovereign states and state agencies and does not operate Pegasus. The company (NSO Group) does not have any information about its use nor does it collect information about customers.
Is Pegasus a mass surveillance tool?
According to NSO Group, Pegasus Spyware is not a mass surveillance technology. The company has said in its Transparency and Responsibility report that it only collects data from mobile devices of specific people who are suspected to be involved in serious crimes and terror.
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However, further, the company has also said that NSO Group does not have the information to use it because it does not operate Pegasus Spyware.
What is the cost of using Pegasus spyware?
Pegasus is sold as a license and its actual cost depends on the contract. The cost of one license can be up to Rs 70 lakh and multiple smartphones can be tracked with one license. According to 2016 estimates, NSO Group charges at least Rs 9 crore to spy on 10 people using Pegasus.
According to the 2016 price list, the NSO group had charged $650,000 (Rs 4.84 crore at the current exchange rate) for hacking 10 devices and $500,000 (Rs 3.75 crore) for installation. In this way, if it is added, then a total expenditure of Rs 8.59 crore comes.
What data can be stolen from the phone using Pegasus?
With the Pegasus Spyware tool, attackers can get SMS records, contact information, call details, calendar records, emails information, instant messaging details, and browsing history. According to a brochure from NSO Group, Pegasus Spyware can spy on WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Blackberry Messenger too.
In addition, Pegasus Spyware can secretly click photos, records call, record surrounding audio, and even take screenshots without alerting the device user. Once the spyware’s spy mission is over, the Pegasus Spyware operator can remotely hit the kill switch on the victim’s phone to self-delete the Pegasus agent information. This works on devices running up to Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Tizen also.
How to get Pegasus spyware installed on someone’s phone?
The biggest challenge is to install the Pegasus Spyware tool in someone’s device to spy. Phishing tools are the most popular way to install this spyware tool. Pegasus can be installed without knowing anyone’s device number.
If the attacker does not have the device number (Phone Number) or email ID of the person to be spied on, the Pegasus agent can be injected silently after obtaining the number using a tactical network element such as a base transceiver station (Commonly know as BTS).
What is the most important thing for Pegasus spyware to work?
Pegasus Spyware needs a core backend IT architecture to operate. According to Pegasus’s product brochure, “NSO is responsible for deploying and configuring Pegasus Spyware hardware and software at customer premises.”
The entire setup requires a web server, communication module, cellular communication module, permissions module, data storage, system security, system hardware installation, operator console, and finally the Pegasus application.
What is the minimum IT hardware required to run Pegasus?
The minimum system hardware (H/W) and specifications required for Pegasus Spyware to function include the operator terminal or Standard desktop PCs (Personal Computers) are required.
It includes an i5 core processor, 3GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 operating system (OS). Talking about the minimum system infrastructure, it includes two units of 42U cabinet, networking hardware, 10TB storage, 5 standard servers, UPS, cellular modem, and SIM card also.
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