All About Pegasus Virus (Spyware)
An Israel-based company named NSO Group created a ‘Malware’. Basically, malware is the type of software that enters and harms our computer system and the users in different ways. One of the very dangerous and harmful uses of this malware can be for spying purposes. The malware that is used as spy software is called ‘Spywares’. The most famous and dangerous spyware nowadays is “Pegasus”. It is named after a flying horse that used to be there in ancient times. Israel states that with the help of Pegasus Virus, they have eluded a huge number of terrorist attacks. But, everything has its own positive and negative effects and the same follows for Pegasus Spyware too.
We all know that iOS device are way more secured than android devices but Pegasus Malware doesn’t differentiate between the two, whether it’s android or iOS, Pegasus Virus works completely fine with both operating systems. It can enter a device even with a single click and the chances that the user gets to know about is almost zero, example: the user may get an e-mail or an SMS, they open to see what is there in the message and as soon as they open the mail, the malware enters the system very smoothly.
One more advanced way of making this malware enter your device is that they will give you a missed call on Whatsapp and soon as you try to figure out that whose call it was, the entry from the call log will be deleted as when the call came and your phone rings, that is the time when the malware enters your device and in this way, the user doesn’t even know that their device is being affected and monitored with the help of Pegasus.
And with the help of this malware, everything present on your device is shared including contact numbers, E-mails, audio recordings, images, videos, location, documents with the administrator. It can even control the microphone of the devices, generally, people don’t do confidential talks over the phone call, instead, they prefer talking to the people personally on the face, in these cases also the administrator will come to know what you are talking by accessing the microphone of your device and listening to all secrets that you shared by surveillance.
The administrator can even call or E-mail someone using your credentials and the actual owner will be completely unaware of all these things happening. The major harm that can be caused by Pegasus is accessing the fingerprints of an individual, as nowadays finger scan-based locking system is present everywhere and the device has stored the fingerprint of its owner so it can also be shared. By doing this, every possible tool or machine can be hacked which is accessible using the fingerprint of that person and this thing is huge…!
The Prime Minister of Pakistan also claimed that India spies him during the time the Indian Air force gun down many terrorists by doing Air Strike on Pakistan using the same software named Pegasus. We don’t know what is the truth behind this blame but Mr. Imran Khan stated that all the telephonic conversations between him and his army chief were intercepted and listened to by the third party also by virtue of which all their plans got leaked and India did a successful Air Strike on Pakistani terrorists.
Once WhatsApp registered a case against the developers of Pegasus Virus (spyware) saying that they have stolen WhatsApp’s data. At that time NSO Group stated that they do not give the access grant of this software to any private company or an individual, instead they sell this software only to the government of a country. They also revealed that at this point of time, access to Pegasus is given to 40 countries in the world including India. As this software includes such types of features, it is pretty obvious that the process is very costly too. In recent times, the leaders of opposition political parties raised their voice against the government of India, answering to which the government said that they have not misused the Spyware. That means the government is not declining the use of Pegasus but they only used it for spying the terrorist organizations which is valid.
This spying case is active in Indian politics in 2021, but if we go in-depth then we will come to know that originally, the opposition political leaders are talking about the spying on them between the term 2017-2019. It is also known that during that period, almost 50 thousand people across the globe were on surveillance out of which 300 were Indians. By doing the in-depth analysis and forensic inspection, the two most famous and authentic media groups named ‘The Washington Post’ and ‘The Guardian’ disclosed that out of 300 Indians who were at the surveillance, 40 were journalists, 3 were the opposition leaders, 2 cabinet ministers, some social activities and NGOs also.
Now, let us talk about that whether it is legal that the government can spy on their citizens or not?
Definitely yes, it is legal, the government of any country can use spying software like Pegasus Virus to maintain the integrity of the country. Some organizations in India that can use such software are:
- National Investigation Agency (NIA)
- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
- Intelligence Bureau (IB)
- Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)
- National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and a few more.
But, this also has a procedure. If these organizations do such kinds of activities then they have to give a written report to a Commissioner rank personnel of the organization. And they work according to the set of protocols, for example, they don’t trace and share anyone’s personal information related to their private life but only the information that is necessary to share to protect the integrity of the country is traced and shared.
There exist 2 important articles in our Indian Constitution (Article 20 and 21). These articles cannot be stopped even by the President of the country as they are for the Right to Privacy of every citizen of India, according to which private information of anyone is not supposed to be made public to decrease the risk of blackmailing of an individual.