The FBI said it tested Israel-based NSO Corporation’s Pegasus spyware for use in criminal investigations.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirms it tested Pegasus spyware while investigating whether the technology was used to illegally hack phones in the US, Washington Post report on Wednesday.
The FBI works hard to stay abreast of emerging technologies and handicrafts – not only to explore possible legal uses, but also to fight crime and protect both the American people and their civil liberties. us,” the FBI said in a statement to The Washington Post this week.
“That means we regularly identify, evaluate, and test solutions and technical problems for a variety of reasons, including possible operational and security concerns they may have. could pose to the bad guys,” the statement continued.
Pegasus spyware is NSO’s premier spying tool as it promises that it can reliably bypass the encryption of any iPhone or Android smartphone to secretly infiltrate into user calls, messages, photos and whereabouts.
Since it was first released in 2011, this spyware has been sold to law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world.
This tool has helped Mexican authorities arrest drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka ‘El Chapo’, as well as European investigators to fight terrorist plots, organized crime and dismantle a global cycle of child abuse, The New York Times report.
As more and more criminals and terrorists use encryption to perpetuate their illegal activities, NSO’s product at first seems to have been sent to law enforcement by heaven.
However, there has also been documentation of spyware being used to target journalists (including the late Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi), track activists, and locate of attorneys and their families.
Furthermore, NSO initially stated that the technology could not be used to target US phones with US area code +1, however, documents obtained by Motherboard in 2020 suggests that the team has created a separate product called Phantom, possibly.
These tools appear to have attracted the interest of the FBI, when the tech company presented both to the agency in 2019.
According to The Times, FBI agents underwent a Pegasus training course on a “dummy” phone that could allow them to silently view every email, photo, text string, personal contact on the device.
“They can also see the phone’s location and even control its camera and microphone,” The Times reports.
Because the attack doesn’t even require the user to click on a malicious attachment or link, it’s called “no-click”.
The FBI insists that it does not use Pegasus in any investigation and that it obtained a limited license solely to test the product.
The FBI also decided not to deploy the spyware by 2021, while the NSO said it would investigate abuses of the technology and stop providing services to customers who violate the company’s rules. as reported by The Times.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4605329/fbi-pegasus-spyware/ The FBI says it tested the notorious Pegasus spyware that can silently infect your iPhone and spy on your camera