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.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.