What is Pegasus? The super spyware that’s on every news headline.

Pegasus is a surveillance software developed by an Israeli tech firm, the NSO Group. It is a highly sophisticated spyware developed solely for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. 

Pegasus first got public attention when several journalists were intimidated by WhatsApp about their phones being compromised by spyware. 

This software has again gained limelight, on July 18th it was reported that documents acquired by a international media collaboration showed a list of numbers that are claimed to have been potential targets using Pegasus. 

What Exactly is Pegasus

Pegasus is as mentioned a highly sophisticated spyware software developed by NSO Group only available to intelligence agencies and law enforcements. 

Pegasus is termed as a modular malware. The biggest USP of Pegasus for its users is the seamless intrusion it promises where an individual targetted wont have an idea that their phone is compromised. The spyware when enters a device first gets a scan and then installs various modules as per the requirements. These modules can:

  1. Listen to calls and access all contacts
  2. Access all messages and mail
  3. Log keyboard keystrokes
  4. Capture screenshot
  5. Access browser history 

Any mobile device can be hacked just by making the target click a URL link, or even just a WhatsApp missed call. A single missed call can install the software on the targets phone which then deletes the call log entry to ensure that the victim of the hacking remains unaware.


According to documents collected by The NewYork Times, the costs for using the NSO Group’s software is quiet steep. It costs about $500,000 installation fee, followed by $650,000 to spy on 10 iPhones or Android users; $500,000 for five Blackberry users; or $300,000 for five Symbian users. The users also had to pay an additional fee of $800,000 for an additional 100 targets, $500,000 for 50 extra targets or $150,000 for 20 extra targets. 

Now a NSO spokesperson said “NSO will thoroughly investigate any credible proof of misuse of its technologies, as we always had, and will shut down the system where necessary,”

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