There’s a lot of news about the powerful spyware named Pegasus. And it is some nasty stuff, being able to infect a phone without anyone clicking anything! You can read about some basics about Pegasus here.
Unfortunately, this is one of those news topics where the media can be more inciteful than insightful. For example, the NYTimes has a long write-up on Pegasus that might make you a little anxious to read. By the 6th paragraph, they mention that “more than 1.65 billion Apple products in use worldwide have been vulnerable”. They don’t mention what you should do until the final (33rd) paragraph.
What should you do? Try my two-step plan:
1) Don’t Panic. 2) Update your iPhone.
The first step is because you’re probably not affected by Pegasus. This spyware, while it can do everything it says on the tin, was probably not something that was unleashed on the entire world. Instead, researchers are fairly sure that it was deliberately used against specific people. World leaders, politicians, activists or billionaires were the likely targets.
I’ll go out on a limb and wager that most of my readers don’t fit those categories. And for any who is a Pegasus target, they’ve probably already had their iPhone replaced or wiped.
Anyhow, the second step is what can give you full peace of mind, and may have already happened automagically. Many iDevices update on their own, and the latest iOS 14.8 update will patch iPhones against Pegasus. So go ahead and check for updates on your iPhone, and then put this nasty business out of your mind.
PS: Android phones might also be vulnerable to Pegasus, but the news media is not reporting a whole lot on that. I still recommend you Don’t Panic.
PPS: Yes, you can check your iPhone for Pegasus, but it rather involved and possibly not worth the effort. Still, if you are interested, here’s one method that appears to have no cost associated with it. I do not see any way to check an Android phone for Pegasus.