The New York Times mentioned in one of its reports that government officials from the United Arab Emirates had entered into an agreement with the Israeli company, NSO, for spying on the telephones of Tamim bin Hamd, the Ameer of Qatar and Mutab bin Abdullah, Minister of Defence, former Head of the National Guards and one of the ‘guests’ in the Hotel Ritz Carlton lately.
So what do you know about the method used by the Israeli company for hacking into smartphones?
NSO is an Israeli company based near Tel Aviv. It was founded in 2010 by three former Israeli intelligence officials. The company uses a spyware known as Pegasus.
This program is installed in the victim’s device using a text message which includes a link. Upon clicking this link, the program installs itself on the victim’s device without the victim’s knowledge. Once it is able to access the device, it is able to perform the following actions:
Read text messages
Record all telephonic conversations
Access net usage history
Read messages sent over encrypted communication apps
Read everything typed using the keyboard
And many other actions. In short, the program is able to access everything inside, accessed or sent via the victim’s device.
Thus we strongly advise against clicking any suspicious link or installing anything from unknown sources. Similarly, no attachments sent via e-mail by an unknown source or any communication app downloaded from an unknown source should be ever installed on the device.
This post is also available in: العربية