World's Most Dangerous Spyware Watching You Right Now? Terrifying Experience Reading Pegasus Reveals
Thank you @panmacmillanindia for providing a media copy of the book
I am excited to share my thoughts on Pegasus: The Story of the World's Most Dangerous Spyware by Laurent Richard and Sandrine Rigaurd.
Pegasus is a fascinating book that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the murky world of cyber-surveillance. The authors, Laurent Richard and Sandrine Rigaurd, provide a detailed account of how Pegasus was uncovered by an international consortium of journalists, after they received a leaked list of 50,000 mobile phone numbers.
The book is well-researched and informative, with a fast-paced narrative that keeps readers engaged. The authors offer a comprehensive overview of Pegasus, its capabilities, and its potential for abuse by governments and corporations. They also highlight the urgent need for stronger privacy laws and protections for individual rights.
The authors describe the dangerous and secretive investigation that followed, as the journalists worked tirelessly to prove NSO's involvement in the scandal. The book is well-written and engaging, with a fast-paced narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
While the authors' collaboration with an international consortium of journalists is commendable, it is unfortunate that they chose to collaborate with The Wire in India, which has been criticized for lacking credibility, especially after the whole Meta scandal that ‘unwired’ late last year. However, this does not detract from the overall quality of the book, which provides a compelling account of the far-reaching implications of state-sponsored surveillance and the urgent need to protect individual privacy and human rights.
The most frightening aspect of Pegasus is its ability to infect mobile phones or other devices without the knowledge of their owners, leaving them completely unaware that they are under surveillance. This powerful spyware has reportedly been used to monitor countless innocent individuals, including diplomats, heads of state, and journalists, among others. The scope of its use is truly terrifying.
Thanks to a data leak, the existence of Pegasus was exposed, and the subsequent investigation and public disclosure of its capabilities left me thoroughly disturbed.
Despite its engaging subject matter, some readers, including devoted journalists and tech enthusiasts, may struggle with the extensive and complex geopolitical subplots that dominate parts of Pegasus. At times, the level of detail can be overwhelming and could be described as "in the weeds," particularly in the book's first half. In fact, the intricacy of the narrative was almost enough to make me abandon it altogether. The authors personal experience at the time of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, although not much relevant to the context, was deeply moving to read about.
Overall, Pegasus is a must-read for anyone interested in cybersecurity, privacy, and human rights. It is a sobering reminder of the power and potential abuses of technology, and a call to action for governments, corporations, and individuals to work together to ensure that these abuses do not continue unchecked.
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