Decoded | Flight of Pegasus from Greek mythology to the opaque world of spyware
7 min read
Explosive claims about Pegasus, Israeli firm NSO's military grade spyware technology, have triggered outrage around the globe. Here, we decode the scope of Project Pegasus and what lies ahead.
Pegasus - the once forgotten winged horse from Greek mythology is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. In Greek mythology, Pegasus was the war horse of Zeus, the supreme Greek deity. As the tale goes, Zeus rewarded Pegasus for its loyalty by turning it into a constellation in the sky.

This time around, Pegasus has resurfaced in the form of a surveillance technology that poses a fundamental threat to the very idea of privacy and personal liberty.

Surveillance, as a concept, is not new.

In recent decades, surveillance has emerged as an effective counter-terrorism tool. But the world is only now coming to terms with the extent to which military-grade surveillance technology meant to combat terrorism and organized crime can be misused.

READ: Guide to Pegasus: How it infects phones, what it does, how to detect and get rid of it

The revelation can be attributed to a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers of individuals across 45 countries who were either targets or persons of interest in the worldwide Pegasus snooping scandal.

The list was made public by French non-profit Forbidden Stories, Amnesty International and a consortium of 17 media organisations from 11 countries.

What is Project Pegasus?

Project Pegasus revealed how Pegasus, a sophisticated spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO, was used to target thousands of journalists, activists, politicians and even sitting heads of state. What is even more interesting is that the firm claims that it counts only "vetted" governments among its clients.

READ: Pegasus used to commit horrible human rights abuses, says WhatsApp CEO

What makes Pegasus different from similar technology in the market?

Pegasus aka Q Suite is capable of carrying out zero-click attacks on the targeted phone. This means that the spyware can be used to inject malware and access data from the phone without the user having to click on a link as in the case of rootkit software.

is capable of carrying out on the targeted phone. This means…
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