What is Pegasus?
Pegasus is a Spyware developed by the Israeli cyber-arms firm NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones running most versions of iOS and Android.
  • Pegasus was capable of reading text messages, tracking calls, collecting passwords, location tracking, accessing the target device's microphone and camera, and harvesting information from apps.
Spyware:-Spyware is a type of malicious software that is installed in a computing device without the end user's knowledge. It invades the device, steals sensitive information and internet usage data, and relays it to data firms or external users. Any software can be classified as spyware if it is downloaded without the user's authorization.
  • Spyware is one of the most common threats to internet users.
The spyware is named after the mythical winged horse Pegasus. 
It is a Trojan horse that can be sent "flying through the air" to infect phones.

How Pegasus is different and so powerful from other spyware? 
Pegasus spyware uses Zero-click technology. It doesn't matter whether the phone is Android or iOS. Pegasus spyware can be deployed on your mobile phone through a missed call.

Zero-click Techniques:-It means hacks that can be executed without a single bit of voluntary action on behalf of the victim. 

In typical cyber attacks, spying on personal users or any high profile personality hackers typically create traps such as a phishing page where a user is tricked into clicking on a vulnerable URL or downloading an attachment that contains texts or anything with embedded malware. In other words, if you become the victim of a standard cyberattack, chances are high that at least at some point, you must have clicked on a malicious link or done some action that would have triggered the spyware. But in this case, Pegasus potentially bypasses all of that.

Pegasus can infiltrate a device using the protocol of the app once bugs are found.

Types of Installation
  • Over the air (Through missed call)
  • Enhanced Social Engineering Message
  • Physical Access.
Amazing Features of Pegasus Spyware
  • Minimal battery, memory, and data consumption 
  • Self destruct mechanisms in case of exposure risk
Due to these amazing features, it makes Pegasus Spyware less detectable.

It is not possible for everyone to use this spyware. And it is not available to normal people. This spyware is only used by the government as the NSO group charges a heavy fee for its use. It charges a flat $500,000 (about Rs 3.7 crore) to install Pegasus. And it charges government agencies $650,000 (Rs 4.8 million) for spying on 10 iPhone's, $650,000 for 10 Android users, $500,000 for five Blackberry users, and $300,000 for five Symbian users. And the group also charges an annual system maintenance fee of 17 percent of the total cost every year.

How to identify that our phone is hacked by spyware or not?
If your smartphone is hacked then it will show you some abnormal behavior like:-
  • Excess Heating of Mobile in normal usages
  • Fast Battery Discharge
  • Excess Data usages(Mobile Data)
  • Your mobile will perform tasks slower than before.
Basic Safety Tips 

These are some basic steps that will save you from minor spyware or malware attacks.
  • Don't click on unknown malicious links.
  • Don't open e-mail attachments from an unknown, suspicious source.
  • Keep your device up to date with the latest build.
  • Use latest application versions.
  • Don't jailbreak or root your device.
  • Turn off unused services like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth.
But here we are talking about Pegasus Spyware and it is much more advanced than other spyware.

As you know every problem has a solution. Similarly here we will discuss about some techniques which help you to stay safe from these types of spyware attacks.
  • Use feature phones instead of smartphones with limited features.
  •  Always Keep multiple devices.
  • Change your devices time to time.
  • Use your own charging cable or adapters to prevent Juice Jacking.
  • Use the latest hardware-based mobile phones.
You can also use Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) for in-depth analysis of your mobile. To check whether your mobile is attacked by spyware or not.

NSO explains that the main purpose of this spyware is to trace terrorists and hardcore criminals. But in its transparency report, NSO openly admits that the software has been misused.

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