Your Complete For ‘spyware’ – It is impossible to stop an advanced ‘spyware’, learn how to avoid spyware attack
Some spyware is so advanced that they can steal information but also hack it by breaking into the strongest security cover of a computer, smartphone or other device.
Israel’s Pegasus spyware recently had access to lists of mobile numbers of more than 50,000 important people, in addition to 16 other news organizations in 10 countries. In fact, Israeli spyware company NSO Group was doing surveillance work for organizations associated with it. NSO’s investigation into the Pegasus spyware revealed that they had a list of more than a thousand government officials, journalists, businessmen and human rights activists from different countries, and were able to obtain data on 67 phone numbers whose numbers were listed were involved in. Of these, 37 numbers have also been found to be infiltrated or successfully hacked by Pegasus spyware. The analysis also indicated that many of these numbers were infiltrated or attempted to be infiltrated immediately after the phone number was entered in that list, some within seconds. Experts believe that there may be a link between the said list and surveillance efforts for data theft. Let’s know what is spyware-
What is spyware and who uses it?
Spyware is a category of software or malware driven by surveillance, data theft or maliciousness. Who wants to steal information from someone else’s computer, smartphone or other device. Spyware can easily hack into security-vulnerable devices. But some of this spyware is so advanced that they can steal information but also hack it by breaking into the strongest security cover of computer, smartphone or other device. However, such advanced spyware is usually deployed by law enforcement or intelligence agencies. But now it is suspected that even terrorist groups and sophisticated criminal gangs have access to spyware. For example, spyware from another Israeli company, Candiru, was used to hack the computers and mobiles of activists, politicians and other victims through fake websites masquerading as pages for Black Lives Matter and health groups via smartphones. had gone.
What kind of information do spyware steal?
Almost all the information, data, even your photo gallery and online games on the devices that live online like your mobile, computer and laptop are the target of advanced spyware. Not only that, just as traditional wiretapping allows for real-time monitoring of phone calls, advanced software like Pegasus spyware can do the same and much more. It can view and collect your emails, social media posts, call logs, even messages on encrypted chat apps like WhatsApp or Signal. Such spyware can also give accurate information about the location of the user, as well as whether that person is stationary or walking and in which direction he is going. Even more dangerous is that it can collect contacts, usernames, passwords, personal notes and even confidential documents. Including photos, videos and sound recordings. While the most advanced spyware can even activate the microphone and cameras of your laptop or smartphone without your consent, that too starts recording without the mobile or laptop turning on any lights or any other indicators. Whatever users do on their devices, so can operators of advanced spyware. Some may even deliver or download files to the device without the user’s permission or knowledge.
Why doesn’t end-to-end encryption prevent this?
‘End-to-end encryption’ protects the transmission of data between two devices such as a smartphone. This is useful to prevent ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks, where a hacker intercepts a message between the sender and the receiver, as the message is locked with a specific encryption key or code. . Such forms of encryption, widely adopted on commercial services after revelations by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, also make it difficult for government agencies to conduct mass surveillance by monitoring Internet traffic. But these are not useful against hackers’ attacks on ‘endpoints’ or endpoints, which target either end of the communication. Once the encrypted message arrives at the device being sent, the system runs a program to decode the message to make it readable. When this happens, spyware on the device can read it as well.
What is NSO, which makes Pegasus spyware?
The NSO Group is a private Israel-based company that is a leading manufacturer of spyware software. Its signature product, Pegasus, is specifically designed to steal information by breaching iPhone and Android phones. Founded in 2010, the company says it has 60 “government customers” in 40 countries. According to Moody’s, the company also has offices in Bulgaria and Cyprus. The company reportedly has 750 employees and earned more than 17.86 billion rupees ($240 million) last year. Novalpina Capital, a London-based private-equity firm, holds the majority of shares in the company.
In which countries is Pegasus spyware present?
Citizen Lab has suspiciously documented Pegasus attacks in 45 countries. This includes Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman, Includes Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zambia Huh. However, the presence of Pegasus in these countries does not mean that the government of the said country is taking the services of NSO. NSO has said many times in the past that its software is used only against suspected criminals and terrorists. But research groups have found that it is also used to spy on political figures, journalists and human rights activists.
Do it to protect your phone
As such, modern spyware is designed to work stealthily and steal data by breaking any security cover. So even your best cyber defense might not be able to escape it. The user does not even know about it because the phone continues to work as before. Therefore, it can be detected only after examining the hacked phone closely. However, to protect your phone from such spyware, you can keep these things in mind-
1. Always keep your devices and their software up to date. Keep Automatic Updates on.
2. Mobile phones older than five years and mobiles with full operating system are the most vulnerable in this case. Change immediately.
3. Set a unique, complex and easily hackable password for the mobile, website or app you use. Avoid easily identifiable passwords like your phone number, date of birth or your pet’s name.
4. Password managers like LastPass or 1Password make hacking easier. Turn on True-Factor Authentication everywhere. Those sites will not only ask for your password, but will also ask for another code that will either be sent to your phone or accessed through a separate authentication app.
5. Avoid clicking on any unauthorized links or attachments that you do not recognize. If possible, turn on ‘disappearing messages’ or similar settings, so that such messages automatically disappear after a set period.
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