Cybersecurity services specialists have revealed a research into new activities of Pegasus, the spyware developed by Israel-based NSO, which now has the ability to extract information about any individual using servers of companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Google.
After the publication of this report, NSO spokespersons stated: “Security firms have misunderstood; NSO-developed products do not have the ability to collect information or access cloud deployments or any of the services mentioned in this research.”
However, cybersecurity services experts argue that a smartphone infected with Pegasus is able to provide NSO with the user’s authentication keys to access various online services, including Google Drive and Facebook Messenger. “The device accesses these services without requesting additional verification or a confirmation email”, the experts mention.
On the other hand, NSO spokesmen said that terrorists and criminals have increasingly evolved tools to carry out their malicious activities, putting them in an advantageous situation in front of security firms and intelligence agencies; “the solutions offered by NSO are completely legal and are designed to combat this type of practice”.
Experts in cybersecurity services claim that Pegasus is the most sophisticated mobile spyware that exists today and is in high demand, whether from intelligence agencies or malicious hacker groups. Accusations against Israel’s government about the sale of this technology have increased political tensions in that part of the world.
Specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) mention that attacks on mobile devices increased considerably over the past six months. The main vector of attack against smartphone users is malware infection via malicious applications, experts add. However, the main users of tools such as Pegasus are state actors, targeting mainly political rivals, activists, the press and dissident groups, so authoritarian regimes are believed to be the main interested in spying software such as Pegasus.