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Knowing how to check your cellphone for Pegasus Spyware or not


The malicious utility (spyware) Pegasus, created by the Israeli company NSO Group for law enforcement agencies and intelligence services, is widely used to secretly spy on mobile phone users in various countries. According to information security experts, at least 50,000 devices have been infected worldwide. Although the number is not very high, however, Pegasus is called very dangerous. Because, this spyware allows hackers to take full control of smartphones, secretly read correspondence, intercept phone conversations, view photos and videos, and so on. Popular antiviruses can't detect Pegasus, because it exploits a zero-day vulnerability that operating system and antivirus application developers don't know about.

So, how do we detect whether our phone/device is exposed to Pegasus spyware or not? The human rights organization Amnesty International has developed a tool that allows phone owners to identify this malicious utility.

The tool is called MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit), and the code for the program is available on GitHub, which can be accessed via this link. MVT is compatible with both Android and iOS, however, there is currently no ready-made solution such as an app that can be installed on mobile phones. The code needs to be compiled for each device, this process can be done on a Linux or macOS computer. The MVT tool will save a copy of the data from the smartphone to the computer, scan all the data and check whether the device is infected with the Pegasus spyware or not, and notify the user if the device is compromised and the data is transferred to a third party.

This tool will scan the data transfer log on our device, so that indicators of Pegasus infection can be recognized, including information about the history of sending calls, SMS, IM messages, and others. On the iOS operating system, these logs are kept longer on the device than on Android, making it easier to detect Pegasus spyware on iPhone. Given the complexity of using this tool, MVT is only recommended for tech-savvy users, or those who suspect Pegasus is tracking it. Cybersecurity observers believe that this spyware is used only for certain people, whose activities are of interest to them, such as politicians, business leaders, or journalists of major publications.

French President Changes Cell Phones Due to Pegasus Spyware

Spyware made by Israeli company Pegasus reportedly targets journalists, activists, politicians, and governments from several countries around the world. According to the Guardian report, the Pegasus spyware targeted dozens of mobile numbers of heads of state and government. One of them is the President of France, Emmanuel Macron. According to a report by local French media Le Monde, in this case the Pegasus client identified as targeting Macron's cell phone was an unidentified Moroccan security service. Le Monde, who is part of a global media consortium that has identified thousands of mobile numbers for Pegasus' targets, said they could not confirm whether the president's cell phone had been spied on or not. The case led Macron to change his cell phone and cell phone number. This replacement is the first concrete action announced by the French government, following the Pegasus spyware attack. "He (Macron) has several numbers. This doesn't mean he has been spied on. It's just added security," the French government said. According to government spokesman Gabirel Attal, the president's security protocol is being adjusted regarding the incident.

Obviously we take (Pegasus spyware) very seriously," Attal told reporters a few hours after an emergency cabinet meeting focused on Pegasus.

Meanwhile, the Moroccan government rejected the accusation. Oliver Baratelli, a French lawyer appointed by the Moroccan government, said they planned to file a defamation suit in Paris against non-governmental organizations Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories. The two organizations organize non-profit journalism based in Paris, Le Monde is included in the program along with other media from around the world.

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