Monday, Aug 09, 2021, 16:07 iOS: Software

Government Trojan Virus "Pegasus" – iMazing Detects Spyware In iPhone Backups

As we recently reported, a day zero hole in iMessage was taken advantage of to produce the government-used trojan horse virus "Pegasus", capable of infecting a user's device without any compromising actions taken on the part of the user. It's still as of yet unknown as to whether or not Apple has fixed the glaring issue in the meantime. The Californian company condemned the attacks and whilst reiterating that the virus poses absolutely no risk to the vast majority of users. The virus, produced by an Israeli company, is sold to mostly totalitarian governments – where it is used to persecute journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, and political opponents (with high profile victims such as France's current PM, Emmanuel Macron).

A (Very Complicated) Tool From Amnesty International
Many iPhone users have asked how to check whether or not their devices have been comprised by the new trojan virus developed by the Israeli company "NSP Group". The human rights organization, amnesty international – which discovered the initial attacks against journalists and government officials, has published a corresponding tool. However, the software is rather complicated and source code posted to GitHub has to be compiled in order to use the application. Thus, it's not for everyone.

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iMazing Can Detect "Traces" Of Pegasus
Currently, there's also a much easier method of detecting Pegasus – with the backup tool iMazing. According to iMazing developer DigiDNA's own blog, new version 2.14 has been equipped with the functionality. iMazing now contains an integrated "spyware detector" specially designed to detect government trojans. The feature is available in iMazing for both Mac and Windows and can also be used in the free demo version of the software – making a purchase unnecessary.

"Spyware Detection" Largely Automatic
To test for a possible "Pegasus" infestation, simply start the backup tool and connect the mobile device to either the Mac or Windows computer running the software. After a quick click on "spyware detection", iMazing will create a backup of the connected smartphone to automatically scan for spyware. The recently publicized "Pegasus signature" from Amnesty International is used to detect the trojan horse virus. After the scan is complete, the software produces a report as either a comma-separated text file or an Excel document. Then, the document can be searched for the "Pegasus" signature found in iMazing's blogpost.

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