It is generally believed that it is impossible to fully protect yourself from professional surveillance software. Although it can be very difficult to prevent the exploitation and infection of mobile devices, users can still take certain measures that prevent attackers from targeting them directly. According to media reports, journalists, politicians, human rights activists, lawyers and public activists are increasingly the main targets of such spyware programs like Pegasus, nike pegasus nike air zoom pegasus 37 therefore Costin Raiu – head of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team (GReAT) – proposes a set of recommendations on how mobile users, both Android and iOS, can protect their devices from Pegasus and other state-of-the-art mobile malware.
Pegasus, Chrysaor, Phantom and other such programs are the so-called “legal surveillance software” developed by private companies and widely implemented through a variety of exploits, including several iOS zero-click zero-days. The oldest version of Pegasus was captured by researchers in 2016. Since then, more than 30,000 human rights activists, journalists and lawyers around the world could have been targeted by Pegasus.
Here are some tips to help you deal with the sophisticated attacks of mobile malware:
- First of all, it is important to restart your mobile devices daily . Reboots help “clean up” the device, so to speak, which means that attackers will have to continuously reinstall Pegasus on the device, and this helps the infection to be detected by security solutions.
- Keep your mobile device up to date and install the latest patches as soon as they are available. In fact, many of the operating kits target already fixed vulnerabilities, but they are still dangerous for those people who use older phones and do not update in a timely manner.
- Never click on the links received in the messages . This is a simple but effective tip. Some Pegasus customers rely on single-click exploits more than zero-click exploits. They are sent in the form of a message, sometimes via SMS, or other messaging or e-mail applications. If you receive an “interesting” SMS (or any other application of this kind ) with a link, open it on a desktop computer, preferably using TOR Browser, or better, using a secure and non-persistent operating system. such as Tails.
- Also, don’t forget to use an alternative web browser for web searching. Some exploits do not work as well on alternative browsers as Firefox Focus, compared to traditional browsers such as Safari or Google Chrome.
- Always use a VPN ; this makes it harder for attackers to target users based on their internet traffic. When looking for a suitable VPN subscription, keep a few things in mind: look for established services that have been around for some time, that can accept payment with cryptocurrencies, and that do not require you to provide any registration information.
- Install a security application that checks and warns you if your device is affected by jailbreak . To keep it on the device, attackers using Pegasus will often resort to jailbreaking the targeted device. If the user has a security solution installed, then they will be able to alert them to the attack.
- If you’re an iOS user, launch sysdiags often and save them to external backups. Certain artifacts can help you determine if you have been targeted or not. Kaspersky experts also recommend iOS users who are attacked to disable FaceTime and iMessage . Since they are activated automatically, they can turn into a good delivery mechanism for zero-click chains, for periods of several years.
” In general, Pegasus attacks are very well targeted, which means that they do not infect masses of people, but rather specific categories. Many journalists, lawyers and human rights activists have been identified as targets of these sophisticated cyber attacks, but victims generally lack the tools or knowledge to defend themselves. Our mission is to make the world safer, so we will do our best to provide them with the best protection against malware, hackers and such sophisticated threats , “said Costin Raiu, Head of Kaspersky’s Global Research. and Analysis Team (GReAT) .
If you’ve already been a victim of a Pegasus attack, here are some tips on what to do next:
Try to find a journalist and tell him your story. Negative articles have led to the breakdown of many surveillance companies. Reporters and journalists write about the abuses and expose their lies and mistakes.
Change your device – if you’ve been on iOS, try switching to Android for a while. If you were on Android, switch to iOS. This could confuse the attackers for a while; for example, it is known that some threat actors have acquired operating systems that operate only on a certain phone brand and only on a certain operating system.
Purchase a secondary device, preferably running GrapheneOS, for secure communications. Use a prepaid SIM card or connect only via Wi-Fi and TOR, in airplane mode.
Avoid messaging applications for which you need to provide your phone number to your contacts. Once an attacker has your phone number, he can easily target you through many similar applications – iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, all related to your phone number. An interesting new choice here is Session, which automatically routes your messages over an Onion network and is not based on phone numbers.
Try to contact a security researcher in your area and constantly discuss best practices. Send him artifacts, suspicious messages or logs whenever you think you’ve come across something strange. Cyber security is not limited to a single solution with instant effect and 100% efficiency; Think of it as a stream of flowing water to which you have to adapt your navigation according to speed, currents and obstacles.
Read the full article on how to protect yourself from Pegasus and other similar mobile malware on Kaspersky Daily .