6 Reasons Why Pegasus is Such Dangerous Spyware

| Updated on March 4, 2024

If you don’t know what spyware is, here is a definition: spyware is any malicious software that allows a bad actor to spy on you. Typical spyware may read your messages or snoop on your Internet activity. 

There are many different subsets of spyware. But fortunately, the best spyware removal and spyware scanner tools can neutralize almost all snoopy malware. Here are some common types of spyware: 

  • Adware: Although adware isn’t particularly dangerous, some experts definite it as spyware because it watches your Internet browsing activity for marketers to generate revenue. Advanced adware may install toolbars, plugins, extensions on your browser, throw up pop-up ads, and hijack your clicks for ad scans. 
  • Keyloggers: While simple, keyloggers are highly effective. Most keyloggers can log your keystrokes, allowing cybercriminals to read your passwords and documents. Some companies also use them to protect their interests. 
  • Stalkerware: A particularly nefarious type of spyware, stalkerware helps abusers spy on people and their movements. Usually, developers sell stalkerware as security software on mobile phone platforms.

What Makes Pegasus So Threatening?

1. Professional Creation

Unlike most spyware found in the wild, a professional cyber arms company called NSO Group made Pegasus. The company’s founders are former members of an Israeli Intelligence Corps unit and have the expertise to perform intelligence operations.

2. Zero-Click Spyware 

Many different types of malware, like computer viruses, rely on a click from a user to activate. However, Pegasus employs zero-click techniques, running without any interaction from its target. 

3. Exploit Advantage

An exploit is a type of undiscovered software vulnerability that allows the malware to breach a system. While Apple has released a patch to protect the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac from Pegasus, it was too little too late for many users. 

4. Advanced Capabilities

Pegasus has advanced capabilities that leave communication software like Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, Viber, and more vulnerable to snooping. Here are some of the ways Pegasus can spy on you. 

  • Extracts contacts
  • Spies on your call logs
  • Shares your messages with threat actors
  • Documents your web browsing history and settings
  • Copies your photos
  • Uses your camera, microphone, and GPS to watch you

5. Stealth Techniques

NSO designed Pegasus to hide from its targets. It will self-destruct upon command or if unable to communicate with command-and-control (C&S).

6. High Profile Usage

All types of high-profile people spy on their targets with Pegasus. For example, the British High Court found that UAE ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s agents spied on his ex-wife, assistant, and security team with the malware. Another high-profile target of Pegasus is French President Emmanuel Macron. Even the Mexican drug cartelspied on local journalists with Pegasus. Here is a brief list of countries that may have spied on political rivals, journalists, or activists with the spyware:

  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

These are just six reasons why Pegasus is such dangerous malware. To shield yourself from any spyware, use top cybersecurity software, avoid threat vectors like fraudulent websites and phishing emails, and don’t lend your computer or device to untrustworthy parties that may install malicious software on your system.

Adam Green

With more than 3 years of experience as a software and tech writer on GetAssist.net Adam has been writing articles, blogs, and featured stories centered around the software and tech niche since he graduated from Virginia Tech University. He writes savvy articles, tutorials, and reviews that explain difficult concepts to readers of all levels. His expertise includes software development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. Through simple and engaging writing, Adam constantly delivers useful insights that enable readers to feel at ease in the ever-changing technological scene.

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