Is Your Phone Infected With Pegasus?


    Fossbytes has an article detailing how you can check to see if your mobile device is infected with the “Pegasus” spyware. What’s Pegasus you ask? It’s phone-penetrating spy software developed by NSO Group and sold to governments to target journalists and activists around the world. The CEO of NSO Group says law-abiding citizens have “nothing to be afraid of,” but that doesn’t help us sleep any better. Here’s how to check if your device has been compromised (heads up: it’s a bit of a technical and lengthy process): First off, you’ll need to create an encrypted backup and transfer it to either a Mac or PC. You can also do this on Linux instead, but you’ll have to install libimobiledevice beforehand for that. Once the phone backup is transferred, you need to download Python 3.6 (or newer) on your system — if you don’t have it already. Here’s how you can install the same for Windows, macOS, and Linux. After that, go through Amnesty’s manual to install MVT correctly on your system. Installing MVT will give you new utilities (mvt-ios and mvt-android) that you can use in the Python command line. Now, let’s go through the steps for detecting Pegasus on an iPhone backup using MVT. First of all, you have to decrypt your data backup. To do that, you’ll need to enter the following instruction format while replacing the placeholder text (marked with a forward slash) with your custom path: “mvt-ios decrypt-backup -p password -d /decrypted /backup”. Note: Replace “/decrypted” with the directory where you want to store the decrypted backup and “/backup” with the directory where your encrypted backup is located. Now, we will run a scan on the decrypted backup, referencing it with the latest IOCs (possible signs of Pegasus spyware), and store the result in an output folder. To do this, first, download the newest IOCs from here (use the folder with the latest timestamp). Then, enter the instruction format as given below with your custom directory path: “mvt-ios check-backup -o /output -i /pegasus.stix2 /backup”. Note: Replace “/output” with the directory where you want to store the scan result, “/backup” with the path where your decrypted backup is stored, and “/pegasus.stix2” with the path where you downloaded the latest IOCs. After the scan completion, MVT will generate JSON files in the specified output folder. If there is a JSON file with the suffix “_detected,” then that means your iPhone data is most likely Pegasus-infected. However, the IOCs are regularly updated by Amnesty’s team as they develop a better understanding of how Pegasus operates. So, you might want to keep running scans as the IOCs are updated to make sure there are no false positives. Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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