The scope of Pegasus spyware affecting Whatsapp may be wider than what has been known so far. An estimated 1400 people have been affected and that number is likely to increase. An internal investigation by Whatsapp revealed that an Israeli spyware might have affected government and military officials in nearly 20 countries, including activists and journalists.
According to a leading report, it has been found that Pegasus spyware can have unlimited access to your mails, passwords, messages, calls. As per a Kaspersky report, the hack can also access encrypted files. It can do so by accessing a plethora of apps that include but are not limited to Gmail, Facebook, WeChat, Facetime, Whatsapp, Skype, Telegram & Viber.
NSO, the Israeli software company states that the program is only sold to government agencies and its sole intention is to fight crime and terrorism.
How to find out if your device is affected by Pegasus Spyware?
As we already know how Pegasus spyware works, it is almost impossible to detect it. Pegasus is a complex software with some of the latest anti-detect and self destruct features which makes it even more difficult to find out. Even if the spyware is uninstalled after use, it leaves no traces and there is no other way to tell if a particular device was affected or not.
It was designed in such a way that it doesn’t slow down your device and works with slow internet speeds as well. Whatsapp has been proactively contacting the customers and informing them about potential spyware attack on their device. If you really want to know whether you are affected or not, then you need to get in touch with a cyber-security expert.
What to do if your phone is affected?
Many security experts have said that the best way to get rid of Pegasus spyware is to discard the phone that has been affected. Performing a factory data reset might not do the trick since the hackers can reinstall it based on the data they have collected previously.
Once you replace the device, make sure to update all the apps and have the latest security patches. In order to protect your online accounts, it is advised to change passwords of all your cloud-based services and daily use apps.