With over 50, 000 mobile numbers claimed all over the world to be on NSO spyware software whose Zambian phone number is on the Pegasus Project Data? The quick answer is – Is Pegasus spyware even here in Zambia?
This information technology content is localized and part of Lensesview simple review updates about world technology and how it is affecting any Zambian.
What is Pegasus? Pegasus is high-level spyware developed by the Israeli cyber arms firm NSO Group that can be covertly installed on mobile phones (and other devices) running mostly the versions of iOS and Android.
Once installed on your device Pegasus is powerful enough to enable the keystroke monitoring of all communications from a phone be it texts, emails, or web searches. The spyware also enables phone call eavesdropping and location tracking.
Also and more dangerous Pegasus also permits the agents to hijack both the mobile phone’s microphone and camera, thus turning it into a powerful constant surveillance device. The spyware was initially discovered by Citizen Lab a Toronto University research organization that bridges information technology communication, global security, and how these interact with human rights.
Now of recently in “A World of Surveillance” a consortium of journalists gained access to a leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers entered into a system used for targeting by Pegasus. Governments around the world paid the company vast sums of money to gain access to Pegasus and let them use it to attack their targets.
Back to Zambia the current list accessible at OCCRP (organized crime and corruption reporting project) does not show anything concerning Zambia. Though back in 2018 Citizen Lab detected a Pegasus spyware agent listed as Operator_Mulungushi. At that time the government could have had people of interest and used Pegasus to check on those.
People of interest in Pegasus Project Data have been journalists, activists, doctors, politicians, friends or relatives to people of interest and many more.
However, a neighboring country Rwanda has been spotted in the limelight with over 3,500 Rwandan phone numbers appeared on the leaked Pegasus list. No evidence exists of a hacked phone however it does suggest they were potential targets of the software.
However, there are countries that have been deemed as prolific clients of the NSO Group’s spyware such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Morocco, and India.