So just for the heck of it I installed MVT (Mobile Verification Toolkit) the other day, which is a piece of software released by Amnesty international to check if you have Pegasus spyware installed on your phone.
If you haven’t read about it Pegasus spyware is some nasty stuff (It’s developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group). It seems it was installed on Jamal Khashoggi’s phone (you know that chap who was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey). Also today I read that Sheikh Mohammed used spyware on Princess Haya and five associates in an unlawful abuse of power.
In short this Pegasus spyware is so bad, they recommend that if it’s installed on your phone you should get rid of / destroy the phone. Apparently even erasing the phone from scratch has no effect!
The detection software it’s self is command line interface based (So not for the average user) and it took a bit of mucking about to get it to run. Using a debian linux machine from scratch it took an hour or 2 to get the dependencies and settings on the phone sorted so that the computer could fossick about the phone for any trace of the nasty.
Although it’s satisfying to be able to do this – the need to do more to protect your devices sprang to mind – a quick glance thru some of the documentation came up a number of urls a few of which I’ll list.
There is more in this document that you might like to grep thru.
Be warned The [.] should be removed to find the current related ip address. Do this with care, and only use command line interface related commands, do not open any of the above in a browser!
Which brings up the issue of if your running your own network and routers. I’d slap some acl’s on these darn things and the related ip address, as it will give you a little more protection against possible infection.
In addition to this, is that this software seems to use a lot of url redirects. So if your concerned this article on how to stop redirects may be worth reading.
Stay safe people. It seems that the Internet is still the wild wild west.
You can find the mvt software here.