Is the Indian Government Spying on Citizens’ Phones Using Pegasus Software?

Chris Steward
Chris Steward
pegasus spying

According to a report by Forbidden Stories, a French media organization, phones in nearly 50 countries were being tapped using spyware software at the request of its clients, which is supposed to be the government of some nations. Not to mention, approximately 50,000 phones are suspected of being subjected to illegal cyber-surveillance. The application was created by Israel’s cyber arms organization, NSO Group, namely Pegasus Software.

Several major news outlets have questioned the Modi administration. Notable ones include; The Wire, The Washington Post, The Indian Express, The Guardian, The Hindustan Times, and many more local newspapers on the account of speculation regarding dataveillance. It is being claimed by major outlets that the government was keeping an eye on the personal information of its citizens by hacking android or iPhone mobiles through pegasus software.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that India’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, is on good terms with the preceding Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. Thereby, multiple prints and electronic media journalist has accused Modi of being responsible for cyberattacks on approximately 350 influential Indians, including opposition political leaders, supreme journalists, top businessmen, two cabinet ministers, and social activists.

What Does Pegasus Spyware Imply and How It Works?

As previously stated, pegasus software is a surveillance application that is compatible with both the iOS and Android operating systems. Dynamic software that is competent in tracking location, reading messages, recording calls, accessing pictures or videos, controlling the microphone, and gathering data from installed apps, that too in a hidden way.

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Now, talking about how pegasus software occupies control of any mobile phone. Primarily, it takes advantage of the operating system’s vulnerabilities and makes attempts to infect the phone. It can be done by sending malevolent links either through direct messaging or by sending emails. When the victim clicks on these malicious links, the spyware software gets installed in the phone without being noticed.

Another potential method of attack can be through the zeroclick attack, it doesn’t even require the victim’s interaction for the gateway of spyware. Rather, it gets installed itself by targeting flaws in the software or hardware of the mobile device.

Take Of Political Leaders On The Pegasus Scandal

To begin with, have a look at what Home Minister Of India, Mr. Amit Shah has to say in this context. On 19 July 2021,  upon facing backlash from the opposition, he released a press release and one of the statements says, “ Disruptors and obstructers will not be able to derail India’s development trajectory through their conspiracies. Monsoon session will bear new fruits of progress.”

Hence, according to his ideology, those who spread rumors related to Pegasus spyware have only one intention: to stop the monsoon session. He went ahead by stating “Aap chronology samjhiye”, I reckon he intends to give some meme material to the audience yet again.

Moving further, Congress Leader, Rahul Gandhi also quoted regarding this raging issue. He sarcastically tweeted lately, “We know what he’s been reading- everything on your phone” answering one of his previous posts which states “I’m wondering what you guys are reading these days”.

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