300 mobile phone numbers in India belonging to journalists, activists, sitting MPs, and critics of the BJP government were being spied on using the Pegasus spyware.
Made by Israel’s NSO Group, Pegasus, once it infects, can harvest just about every data including emails, WhatsApp, iMessage chats, SMSs, GPS data, call logs and more from the smartphones.
The spyware can also remotely activate the camera and microphone, and record phone calls allowing the user to conduct total surveillance on the infected device.
The spyware works on both Android and iOS devices, and can infect devices using zero-click vulnerabilities. Pegasus can be installed in devices using SMS, WhatsApp messages, iMessage and even via a missed call.
Responding to an earlier lawsuit, NSO Group had said the spyware is only sold to ‘vetted governments’, indicating that the BJP Government may have authorised snooping on Indian citizens.
The leaked database was accessed by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and was reported by a consortium of publications under the #PegasusProject. In India, The Wire got exclusive access to the report.
The Indian Government has categorically denied an ‘unauthorized use of surveillance’ and that any interception, monitoring or decryption carried out is done as per ‘due process of law’.
Check full report of project Pegasus