The WhatsApp has confirmed that nearly two dozen journalists, academicians, Dalit and human rights activists in India have been targeted by a spyware called Pegasus. Ashish Gupta, the chief of Asomiya Pratidin Bureau at New Delhi has also been affected by the spyware.
Pegasus has been developed by an Israel-based technology firm known as NSO. Pegasus allows the hacker access to the phone’s camera, microphone, files, photos, and even encrypted messages and emails.
* How do you know if you’ve been affected?
According to reports, Pegasus spyware is impossible to detect. It is a sophisticated spyware and a phone can be infected with Pegasus just by calling it via WhatsApp; users do not even need to pick up the call.
The phone does not show any signs when it has been infected by Pegasus; making it difficult to detect the spyware.
However, it has come to light that WhatsApp has information about the affected users and sending alert messages to the list of affected users asking them to update to the latest version of the app. Citizen Lab based in Canada is also sending alert messages to affected users.
There is no way to get rid of Pegasus apart from discarding the phone. Even a factory reset doesn’t kill it.
* What to do if your phone is affected by Pegasus?
According to experts, affected people should just discard the phone and when they buy a new phone they should install all the updated versions of apps. They should also change all the passwords of cloud-based websites. This is the only way to get rid of the spyware.