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Pegasus Software: Rahul Gandhi Targeted?

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Pegasus software once made headlines in 2019 and, it’s now again under scrutiny. In 2019, various activists and journalists got information that their privacy is compromised by spyware. According to an international media collaboration, some phone numbers are being tracked using Pegasus. The findings were made public on July 18. The early reports suggest that over 40 people, including politicians, journalists and activists, are targeted.

Know About Pegasus Software

Pegasus is known as a highly sophisticated surveillance software. It is made by a tech firm from Israel, popular by the name NSO Group. Moreover, the NSO Group is credited for its expertise in developing cyberweapons.

Going by the history of spyware, Pegasus came to light in 2016. The incident of alleged hacking of an Arab human rights activist’s iPhone with the help of Pegasus became famous. Days after, the iPhone manufacturer company Apple introduced an iOS update. It further confirmed the allegation that the said software is capable of hacking phones.

In 2017, cyber security experts put forth that not only iPhone but Pegasus can exploit android smartphones. Afterwards, in 2019, Facebook sued the software developer NSO Group for making Pegasus! Meanwhile, the NSO Group says that they only sell the spyware to vetted governments. That is to say, they deny selling it to individuals or any other faction.

Who are Under Observation in India?

As claimed by some media reports, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee and election strategist Prashant Kishor could be the targets of Pegasus. Even the Pegasus list have names of two Union ministers. BJP leader Ashwini Vaishnaw who is also listed as a potential target, gave his remarks on the spyware. Vaishnaw is the Union minister for electronics and information technology (MeitY). He says that there is ‘no substance behind’ the reports on Pegasus software.

Besides it, the reports are indicating that five of Rahul Gandhi’s acquaintances are listes as potential targets. What’s unique is that none of them belong to the political sphere. Additionally, election strategist Prashant Kishor’s phone was being tapped during West Bengal assembly elections.

As the monsoon session has officially begun, the Pegasus software controversy is getting complex. Therefore, the opposition is hitting out at the government.

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