Explain: Is Pegasus spyware tapping your phone, should you be concerned?

Explained: Is Pegasus spyware tapping your phone, should you be worried?

What is Pegasus Spyware and why is everyone around the world talking about it right now? In simple words: Pegasus is a sophisticated spyware used by top officials and the government to snoop on the phones of prominent personalities like politicians, journalists etc. Everyone is talking about Pegasus because a few recent reports have revealed that the spyware was used to snoop on ministers, opposition parties, journalists, businessmen and similar mobile phones around the world, including in India.

We are not the first to hear about Pegasus spyware affecting mobile phone users around the world. It was back in 2016 that researchers detected the presence of spyware, but Pegasus came to the attention of the general public in 1986 when it was used to snoop journalists and human rights activists around the world, including in India.

The latest news of snooping on the mobile phones of many Indians by Pegasus spyware has put people in a worrying situation. But what should you think? The answer should be: yes and no

Pegasus is said to be a sophisticated spyware and it is expensive to buy by anyone and everyone. This suggests that not everyone will be able to buy spyware and use it to snoop on people of their choice. Considering past examples and ongoing situations, expensive or sophisticated Pegasus spyware can be used by most government agencies or large organizations with a large budget.

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It is further stated that spyware can only be used for a few groups of people. In most cases we have seen it as a group of journalists, lawyers, top business leaders, politicians, most people who probably have secret information about something big. So, if you are normal, have no connection with the general job and the person described earlier, perhaps your mobile phone has not been tapped by spyware. So, you should not worry about Pegasus spyware affecting your mobile device.

Even if you are not included in one of those groups with general and top secret information, you should be careful not to click on any suspicious links you receive as text or WhatsApp messages / calls. If not Pegasus, there are several other spywares around the world that hackers and scammers use to steal your data and money.

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Researchers have found that Pegasus first gained access to a mobile phone via a malicious web link sent via a message / email. When a user clicks on the link, Pegasus is installed on the mobile device.

Over time, spyware has also acquired new capabilities. Researchers have now discovered that Pegasus is often installed on the phone with just one missed WhatsApp call or one missed call. It is said that once Pegasus is installed on a device it can delete any call log. It became more complicated for the victims of the attack that their phone was the target of Pegasus.

So, whether you include special people or not, you must be wary of this kind of spyware and not click on verified links or take calls from unknown phone numbers, especially suspicious people.

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