The IOS hack involving Pegasus was found in August 2016. A text message offering
"secrets" about torture in UAE prisons was sent to Ahmed Mansoor, an Arab human
rights activist. The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab received the link from
Mansoor and investigated with the aid of Lookout. They found that if Mansoor had
clicked the link, his phone would have been jailbroken and spyware installed,
which is a form of social engineering.
The invasion of Pegasus, a dangerous
software or spyware that can be readily placed in a person's device without
alerting him to the ongoing threat inside it, is the present legal issue that is
causing everyone's minds to spin. The program was created by the Israeli company
NSO Group, which was founded in 2010. The Trojan virus, which is currently
flying into one's gadget, has the name of a winged horse from Greek mythology.
Pegasus spyware infiltrates a device covertly and, because of its "zero-click"
distinctive feature, can send any data to the invader. It can infiltrate phone
logs, audio players, locations, cameras, galleries, and more. According to
recent claims, it can even turn on cameras and microphones for monitoring,
turning the gadgets into surveillance tools. It can be installed to access data
from iOS and Android-powered devices.
This spyware can be installed using SMS,
WhatsApp, and even iMessage, and once it is placed on a device, it might
jeopardize the authorized user's privacy. Pegasus can be seen as a boon in
disguise for the curse. It could have stopped the emergence of various terrorist
organizations and reduced threats and bloodshed among the populace if it had
been used correctly. However, for unclear reasons, the government is abusing it
to interfere with the privacy of well-known people.
If this spyware is used
widely, the government may experience negative outcomes, including financial and
violent ones. The opposition intends to confront the house speaker with
inquiries about the situation and the potential for an insurrection. Therefore,
the government must reveal the truth about their attempt to eavesdrop on the
phones of 300 Indians in the days to come. Article 21's section on the right to
privacy is just as crucial as the necessities of life. It cannot be violated
under "regular circumstances."Pegasus is currently an uprising terror detaining
the same and the citizens must be cognizant of the same.
The invasion of Pegasus, a dangerous software or spyware that can be readily
placed in a person's device without alerting him to the ongoing threat inside
it, is the present legal issue that is causing everyone's minds to spin. An
Israeli business called NSO Group, which was founded in 010 created the
software. The Trojan virus, which is currently flying into one's gadget, has the
name of a winged horse from Greek mythology.
Pegasus spyware infiltrates a
device covertly and, because to its "zero-click" distinctive feature, icansend
any data to the invader. It can eavesdrop on call records, audio players,
geolocation, cameras, galleries, and other features. The recent reports found
that it can even activate cameras and microphones for surveillance thus
transforming the devices into surveillance machines.
It can be installed to
access data from iOS and Android-powered devices. This spyware can be installed
using SMS, WhatsApp, or even iMessage. Once it is installed, it can compromise
the privacy of the authorized user and provide hackers access to the device. The
company asserts that its products are designed to be used against terrorists and
criminals to identify their plans before they are carried out and detain them
without endangering the general population. As a result, they sell their spyware
by law enforcement authorities' licensing and regulations.
Why Pegasus Is Highlighted These Days?
The Pegasus spyware was created by the business in 2010, but it is currently
causing a lot of concern because of claims that the Indian government bought the
virus for $2 million from Israel. According to a columnist for The New York
Times (NYT) involved in the paper's investigation into the use of the
surveillance framework globally,1 the "Indian Intelligence agency" purchased
Pegasus from the Israeli firm NSO in a deal set at "many enormous numbers of
As per The Wire, the NSO Group's client list probably incorporates the
states of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda,
Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as India. The reports say
Amnesty International directed a
scientific examination on a little example of 37 telephones - including 10
Indian telephones - and observed that they gave indications of a Pegasus
According to the New York Times, the purchase was finalized during Prime
Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel in 2017 and approved by then-Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Ronen Bergman,2 a Tel Aviv-based
reporter for the New York Times, the Israeli Ministry of D�fense approved the
agreement, and NSO specialists would have needed to travel to India to introduce
the actual framework, with Israeli intelligence organization Mossad liaising
In any case, neither the NYT nor Mr. Bergman stated whether they
implied the Intelligence.NSA Ajit Doval is in charge of the National Security
Council Secretariat (NSCS), which includes the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the
Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), and other organizations.
According to Mr.
Bergman, the party that approved the Pegasus purchase agreement would have had
to guarantee the Israeli Ministry of D�fense three things:
That it would use it
solely for its intended purposes without sharing it with anyone else; that it
would obtain prior written consent before sharing it with another party; and
that it would use Pegasus observation to combat organized crime and
Further, reports detailing the number of people who
may have been hacked using Pegasus have been distributed by a group of 17
international news outlets, including The Wire from India. An extensive
cooperative investigation that lasted months revealed that the list had more
than 300 Indian phone numbers.
Among the 300 confirmed Indian numbers listed as
anticipated targets for reconnaissance during 2017-2019 were the names of former
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, political decision strategist Prashant Kishor,
Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, IT service Ashwini Vaishnav, pastor
of state for Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel, and numerous others. The NSO Group
claimed that the accusations against it are false and misleading.
Stories report is rife with false assumptions and unsubstantiated suppositions
that raise serious concerns about the reliability and motives of the
informants.3 It appears that the unnamed sources have provided information with
no solid foundation and that is far from reality "examines the claim. According
to NSO Group, there is no real basis for the stories that have been circulated
in this case, and the company is considering making a defamatory allegation. The
organization said that its sources gave them information that lacked any real
Consider how the malware evolved from a start-up to a leader in spy technology.
Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie, two friends who started with an item position firm
called Media in the middle of the 2000s, founded the company. The 2008 recession
all but destroyed the startup, but Hulio and Lavie found a crack in the wall
with the 2007 launch of Apple's iPhone. According to Forbidden Stories, Hulio
and Lavie launched Communitive, which allowed users to remotely control another
person's gadget. However, when cell phone use increased and the demand for
security features like encrypted information services grew, it presented a
challenge for law enforcement and knowledge organizations.
It could only access calls that were not encrypted up until this point. However,
they managed to solve the problem and even cracked encrypted codes. According to
Hulio, intelligence agencies who were interested in the two Israeli
entrepreneurs' concept approached them. With Niv Carmi's assistance, a seasoned
Mossad intelligence operation and security expert, they established NSO Group in
From this point on, NSO started working on Pegasus as a spying alternative
for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They claimed that government
organizations would utilize it to fight terrorism, drug trafficking, and other
crimes. But Mexico, the company's first known state client, went above and above
the call of duty by equipping itself with cyberespionage tools to fight drug
Analysis Of Method:
About Pegasus Project:
The malware known as Pegasus is categorized as spyware. Pegasus makes it
possible for law enforcement and intelligence organizations to discreetly and
remotely access data from nearly any mobile device. Devices can be compromised
by the Spyware Pegasus without the users' knowledge. After that, it can collect
personal data and give it back to whoever is spying with the software.
Zero-click attacks enable viruses like Pegasus to take control of a device
without the assistance of humans or the possibility of human error. Pegasus can
infect a device secretly and without the target's consent. Therefore, it is
useless to be aware of phishing attacks or which URLs to avoid clicking. The
Pegasus spyware was created in the 2010
founded Israeli company NSO Group.4 Since then, NSO's attack capabilities have
become more advanced.
Pegasus Controversy Earlier:
In 2016, researchers found the first iteration of Pegasus. This variation
infected phones using spear-phishing emails or text messages, which deceive a
target into clicking on a dangerous link. In 2019, WhatsApp accused the NSO
Group of making use of a flaw in its video calling function, which allowed
malicious code to be discreetly transferred to infect the victim's phone with
spyware before the victim even answered the call. A study from 2020 revealed
that Pegasus was utilized by government agents to hack into the phones of Al
Jazeera and Al Araby staff.
Attacks In India By Pegasus:
Phone spyware given to autocratic governments by an Israeli spy agency has been
used to target human rights activists, journalists, and attorneys worldwide. The
list also includes opposition leaders and government officials from India. Rahul
Gandhi and other opposition figures were included on the list of possible
targets that was released in India. Politicians' and journalists' smartphones
were breached to collect sensitive data. It has never happened before in the
history of this nation that the judiciary, lawmakers, media, executives, and
ministers have all been spied on. The Indian government has refuted accusations
of wrongdoing or unauthorized spying. The government has neither admitted nor
disputed that it has acquired or used Pegasus spyware, though.
Legalities Involved In The Issue:
Legal concerns have been made regarding whether the government has the right to
tap or hack the private phones of specific citizens of the nation as a result of
the uproar surrounding the Pegasus spyware incident. The controversy centers on
claims that the Indian government secretly spied on well-known journalists, MPs,
academics, corporations, human rights campaigners, and students using Pegasus
Without proper legal backing, this is done and leads to further
criminal behaviors as well as the repression of free speech and expression.
Understanding the fundamental laws that apply in this circumstance is crucial.
The main piece
of legislation regulating online behavior is the Information Technology Act of
2000. Any information on a computer resource is "interceptable, monitorable, and
decryptable" by the Central or State Government under section 69 of the Act. To
protect the national security interests, the sovereignty and integrity of India,
the security of the State and friendly relations with other countries, public
order, or to stop criminal instigation, this must be done.
Section 5(2) of the
Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 permits the government to intercept a communication
or a group of communications in the interest of India's sovereignty and
integrity, security, friendly relations with other countries, and preventing the
incitement of illegal actions.
A caveat to Section 5 states that even this
lawful interception cannot be used against journalists (2). The right to privacy
has continually been argued for and emphasized by citizens, who also feel that
monitoring and warrantless phone tapping violate these fundamental rights. The
first legal case to defend the right to privacy in the context of monitoring was
PUCL v. Union of India
, which was decided in 1996. PUCL contested the legitimacy
of Section 5(2) of the Information Technology Act of 1885, which permits
authorized authorities to intercept communications.
Although the Supreme Court
did not rule that the provision was unconstitutional, it did emphasize the right
to privacy and stated that public bodies should only intercept communications in
two situations: "public emergencies" and "interests of public safety." In the
case of KS Puttaswamy&Anr. v. Union of India &OR's., the Supreme Court upheld
the aforementioned decision in 2017. In this judgment, the Court emphasized the
idea that "privacy is the ultimate manifestation of the individual's sanctity,"
recognizing the Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right.
Pegasus can be viewed as a blessing or a curse in disguise. It could have
stopped the emergence of various terrorist organizations and reduced threats and
bloodshed among the populace if it had been used correctly. However, for unclear
reasons, the government is abusing it to interfere with the privacy of
well-known people. If this spyware is used widely, the government may experience
negative outcomes, including financial and violent ones.
The opposition intends
to confront the house speaker with inquiries about the situation and the
potential for an insurrection. Therefore, the government must reveal the truth
about their attempt to eavesdrop on the phones of 300 Indians in the days to
come. Article 21's section on the right to privacy is just as crucial as the
necessities of life. It cannot be violated under "regular circumstances." The
populace must be aware that Pegasus is currently holding the same and causing an
insurrection of terror.
- Take cognizance of NYT report on Pegasus: Editors Guild to Justice Raveendran committee | India News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
- View: Pegasus - assumptions, limitations, and gaps - The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)
- The Battle for the World's Most Powerful Cyberweapon - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- 'Yes, India Bought Pegasus': Israeli Reporter Who Helped Break NYT Story Speaks to The Wire
- Pegasus: The new global weapon for silencing journalists � Forbidden Stories