Amnesty has put out a tool to combat the ongoing surveillance carried out by the NSO’s group Pegasus software. the Mobile verification Toolkit works on both Android and iOS devices. Amnesty has also said as more forensic data is detected on iPhones rather than on Android devices they are easier to identify.
How Does the Amnesty Toolkit work?
The toolkit essentially works on a command line and might not be very user-friendly, there is some basic knowledge required to navigate through it.
- Use Amnesty’s IOC to scan your phone for Pegasus
- Download and use an up-to-date copy any time the indicators of compromise file updates.
- The Toolkit will then scan your file for any signs of compromise taking a few minutes in the process
- The Toolkit scans through all your files and picks out ones that might be at risk, categorized in the outputted files.
As detection in iPhones is harder the Toolkit essentially scans through the text messages and searches through the links which have been associate with the NSO group.
Many have been speculating on the people behind the operation. As there seems to be no clarity on the situation many have resorted to finger-pointing in the search for answers.
The Bhima Koregaon activists were also victims of an unidentified hacker who planted evidence on their computers, recent reports found. https://t.co/2BCyGFTXbb
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 20, 2021
It is quite clear that Pegasus Spyware is a commercial company which works on paid contracts. So the inevitable question arises on who paid them for the Indian “operation”. If it is not Govt of India, then who? It is the Modi government’s duty to tell the people of India
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) July 19, 2021
NSO’s group Pegasus spyware has been amid scrutiny since the revelations unfolded by Amnesty International and a Paris-based organization ‘Forbidden Stories’. Many high-profile politicians, journalists, social and human rights activists were on a list at risk of being hacked through the Pegasus software of Israeli surveillance company NSO Group. In India, the list of potential targets includes congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Political strategist Prashant Kishore, and 40 other journalists.
Amnesty says it never claimed list was NSO: “Amnesty International has never presented this list as a ‘NSO Pegasus Spyware List’, although some of the world’s media may have done so..list indicative of the interests of the company’s clients” https://t.co/51U72HI9yF
— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) July 21, 2021
NSO however, is pleading not guilty to these accusations calling them baseless and fabricated.
“It is not an NSO list, and it never was – it is fabricated information. It is not a list of targets or potential targets of NSO’s customers. This is all baseless,” says NSO spokesperson Ariella Ben said.