Apple is suing Pegasus for the spyware maker. How to check if your iPhone has NSO Group software

You will need to connect your iPhone to your computer to scan for Pegasus spyware.

Angela Lang / CNET

In the permanent battle between Apple and Pegasus spyware, the iPhone maker said today that it is sue NSO group – the manufacturer of surveillance software. Apple said it seeks to protect its users from “further abuse and harm” with a permanent injunction prohibiting the NSO Group from using the iPhone manufacturer’s hardware, software or devices, Apple said in a statement. communicated.

Spyware can be installed remotely on a target’s iPhone or iPad, granting the person or organization that installed it full access to the device and all the data it has. contains, without the owner taking action. This includes text messages, emails, and even recording phone calls. Pegasus was originally designed and is marketed by its creator the NSO Group to monitor criminals and terrorists.

apple with an iPhone security patch in iOS 14.8 in September closed a vulnerability that was allegedly exploited by invasive spyware built by NSO Group.

While there is probably little chance that a government entity will install Pegasus on your iPhone to monitor your activities, if you’re curious, there is a free tool that lets you check your iPhone or iPad with just a few clicks. To be clear, the chances of your iPhone or iPad getting infected with Pegasus spyware are low. That said, if you want peace of mind – just in case – here’s what you need to do, along with installing the iOS update.

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Download and install the iMazing app on your Mac or PC

iMazing has updated its desktop app to include Amnesty International’s mobile checker toolkit, which is designed to spot signs of Pegasus on a device. The company does not charge for access to the feature.

Download iMazing for your computer company website. Don’t worry about purchasing the app – you can run the full spyware test using only the free trial.

Install iMazing and open it. When prompted, select the free trial.


The longest part is waiting for the app to back up your iPhone or iPad.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to run the Pegasus Spyware scan on your iPhone or iPad

With iMazing installed and running, connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer. You may need to enter the screen lock code on your device to approve the connection before continuing (keep in mind if your iPhone or iPad does not appear in iMazing).

Then scroll through the action options on the right side of iMazing until you find Detect spyware; click on it.

A new window will open, guiding you through the process. The tool works by creating a local backup of your device (so you’ll need to make sure you have enough storage space for the backup) and then scanning that backup. It’s an automated task, so you don’t have to stay put to monitor it once you click Start.

iMazing suggests leaving all default settings in place when you click on each screen. There are configuration options built into the tool for advanced users, but for most of us (including myself) the default configuration settings will do the job.

After performing the basic configuration, you will need to accept a license for the tool and then click on the button Start analysis button.

Once the process has started, make sure to leave your iPhone or iPad connected until it is complete. I performed the test on my iPhone 12 Pro and it took about 30 minutes to create the backup and an additional five minutes for it to be scanned. After the backup was created, I had to enter my account password to allow iMazing to start scanning the file. For this reason, I recommend starting the tool and checking it after a while.

Once iMazing starts scanning your device’s backup, it will show you its progress by displaying each individual app it checks, starting with iMessage. The application uses a database of “malicious email addresses, links, process names and file names”

Once iMazing is finished, you will see an alert with the results. In my case, my iPhone 12 Pro was showing no signs of infection and had no warnings.

The alert also includes two buttons to open or view the report. I went through my report and it contained a bunch of random links that didn’t mean anything to me.


At the end of the scan, the results are displayed in an easy-to-read alert.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

What to do if the iMazing app says your device is showing signs of infection

First of all, don’t panic. It could be a false positive. If this happens, iMazing asks you to send the report (click Reveal Report to access the file directly) to their customer support team for further analysis. The company suggests, however, that if you or a family member is active in a “politically sensitive context” and has a positive rapport, immediately remove your SIM card and turn off your iPhone or iPad.

If your phone isn’t infected, you still want install the latest update on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac, which fixes the vulnerability.

For more safety tips, recheck these settings. For more privacy, go through these steps.

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