Pegasus: What is it? How does it operate?

Pegasus is spyware, manufactured by Israel’s NSO Group. The software is reportedly marketed to governments across the world.

First discovered in 2016, the spyware has been catapulted into the limelight again after an investigation by The Guardian unearthed a list of potential targets, which included at least 180 journalists across the world.

In 2019, messaging major WhatsApp revealed that the Israeli technology had been used to infect close to 1,400 phones with the application installed.

How does it work?

Pegasus is installed on phones without the knowledge of the user, via an innocuous link that downloads the malware onto the device. According to The Guardian, the presence of the spyware cannot be ascertained for sure until a thorough forensic examination of the phone is done.

What does it gain access to?

Affected devices will end up giving total control to the person spying on their user, with virtually all data accessible, from texts to emails to WhatsApp chats and even the ability to turn on the device’s microphone and listen in.


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