How to tell if your mobile phone has been hacked or if it is being used to spy on you?

Surely you have heard or read about Pegasus in the last few days. This malware has been developed by the NSO Group and sold, in theory, only to governments. It has been used to tap around 50,000 phone numbers from around 50 countries.

How does Pegasus work?

Pegasus is a spyware, an espionage software, which is installed without the user’s knowledge; it is not necessary to open an attachment or provide account information for it to be installed. It intrudes Android, iPhone or BlackBerry phones and remains fully invisible to the user. Once installed, it is able to access all the user’s data, as well as activate the camera or microphone, geolocation and “read” the content of supposedly encrypted messaging services such as Telegram or WhatsApp.

Although according to NSO, this system is not intended for mass espionage, but for the fight against terrorism, it seems that some governments have gone too far or that the company does not control its sale. Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories have received access to 50,000 phone numbers from 50 different countries, subject to potential espionage. These countries include India, France, Hungary, Mexico and Morocco.

We will analyze this topic in detail as part of the upcoming modules of the C1b3rwall Academy 2021/2022 that will start next September.

Fortunately, we already have some tools at our disposal that can be used to analyze whether our mobile phones have been attacked and/or spied on, tools that AIR Institute and BISITE are already experimenting with in order to improve the defense systems of our mobile phones and infrastructures.

Prevention and security have never been as important as they are today. If you would like to know if you have been a victim of a mobile phone tapping, you can contact us and we will help you solve it.

If you have doubts and want us to tell you if your mobile has been hacked, do not hesitate to contact us, at BISITE and the AIR Institute we have a team specialized in forensic analysis on mobile devices.


AIR Institute:

This article has been published in the newspaper El Mundo in the Innovators section.

Juan Manuel Corchado

Full Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Department of Computer Science and Automation, University of Salamanca, Spain.


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