- 01 Nov 2019
- 1 min read
Why in News?
WhatsApp recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S court against Israel's NSO Group, alleging that the firm was incorporating cyber-attacks on the application by infecting mobile devices with malicious software.
- Members spread across at least 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America were affected by the spyware.
- Targeted users in India included journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, lawyers, and diplomats.
- The spyware named ‘Pegasus’ is developed by the Israeli cyber arms firm NSO in 2016.
- Pegasus exploited a weakness in WhatsApp’s video-call feature that allowed attackers to inject the spyware on to phones simply by ringing the number of targets' device. It enters the phone even if the call is not answered.
- Once Pegasus is installed, it can access the targeted users’ private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps.
- It can also turn the phone into a spying device by switching on its camera or microphone.