An investigation by a group of media organizations has revealed that military-grade spyware named Pegasus, which is licensed by an Israeli firm named NSO Group, has been secretly used to infiltrate smartphones of some renowned and influential people in India.
Pegasus Spyware Surveillance is a supervision tool that has allegedly been used to break into smart phones owned by at least seven influential personalities from India. Reportedly the spyware was believed to be active on these devices until this month. The infiltration has been confirmed by the forensic analysis.
More than 1000 Indian phone numbers existed on a list of people under surveillance by clients of NSO Group. Some of the selected numbers were of Rahul Gandhi, the main opposition leader in India; Ashok Lavasa, a key election official; as well as M. Hari Menon, the Indian head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation apart from the others.
Others on the list included renowned journalists, opposition politicians, activists, business executives, senior officials, foreign diplomats, public health experts and Tibetan exiles etc.
Pegasus secretly unlocks the data of a target’s mobile phone and converts it into a listening device. NSO claims that it has licensed the tool to the Indian government agencies to fight terrorism and crime. The Indian government has however denied the charges of its misuse.
The truth will be unravelled sooner or later but until then we are left to ponder on the good and bad uses of technology!
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