A consortium of vehicles revealed last Sunday (16) that the well-known Pegasus Spyware was mainly spying on cell phones of human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and other groups. Many country’s governments would have even tried to buy the program from the NSO Group (The Israeli company that developed the solution).
The Experts consulted Daniel Barbosa, a security expert at ESET Cybersecurity company information, to talk about it and how sensitive the Pegasus is for the country since it has already been detected circulating here in 2018.
First, Barbosa explains that the malware is an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat), a specific type of malicious software that performs sophisticated attacks to steal data and spy on sensitive information, for example.
The expert explains that it is possible to track this and other types of malware based on “compromise indicators”, which are types of fingerprints on the programs. In the case of Pegasus, however, its traceability is quite difficult, as it has advanced concealment techniques.
Despite this, Barbosa explains that it is unlikely that common users have their smartphones infected. “Pegasus was designed to be traded with governments, it is not malware found to be sold to anyone. Therefore, the probability of having ‘single’ operators of this malware operating anywhere in the world is very low,” he points out.
Risks to freedom
Even if “ordinary people” are not exposed at this time to the risk of having leaked WhatsApp message details, phone calls, camera, and microphone, the malware poses a great danger.
Barbosa explains that the NSO Group negotiates the tool with governments and that this can pose risks to citizens. Just as the case narrated this week points out that those being watched were journalists, opposition politicians, human rights activists, and others, in a while the targets may be others.
“Today, the threat may have a focus on X positions, but tomorrow Y positions may also be ‘monitored’. Therefore, it is necessary for all of us to be more and more concerned with information security and pay more and more attention to issues related to privacy, so that fundamental rights of citizens are not compromised”, he defends.
Because of this, he says that everyone should be aware and take measures to protect personal information, even in cases where cybercriminals are looking for money and not necessarily spying on the victim.
The expert recommends being careful with access to unknown websites, avoiding suspicious file downloading, and always being suspicious of strange contacts. In addition, he emphasizes the importance of installing protection software that works in layers, and they must always be up-to-date and properly configured.