Receiving a message is sometimes enough to install spyware on your device.
Spyware is typically difficult to install on smartphones and tablets, particularly the iPhone and iPad. Pegasus spyware, on the other hand, is an exception. Pegasus had infected the smartphones of some journalists, activists, and politicians, according to researchers in July 2021.
Pegasus’ lethality stems from the fact that it requires no action from the user to activate. In some cases, simply receiving a message is enough to install the spyware, which gives the hacker complete control over the device and its data once installed.
Pegasus is, of course, a targeted spyware, and Apple has most likely included a patch in the iOS 14.7.1 update (albeit unofficially).
However, if you’re curious if your iPhone or iPad is infected with the Pegasus spyware, there’s now a simple way to find out. With version 2.14 of the software, iMazing, a third-party iPhone and iPad management tool, has included a spyware detection capability for free.
Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac or PC after downloading the iMazing software and unlocking it. Choose the “Detect Spyware” option from the iMazing app after selecting your device.
Then, by pressing the “Next” button three times, follow the wizard’s instructions to download the necessary data and agree to the terms. To begin the process, click the “Start Analysis” button.
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The iMazing app will download the information, create a backup of your iPhone or iPad, and begin scanning it for spyware. This could take some time—creating the backup took about 30 minutes during testing. iMazing will ask you to enter the backup encryption password (if you’ve set one up) and get to work once the backup is complete.
The data on your iPhone or iPad will be scanned by iMazing, which could take 5–10 minutes. When the analysis is finished, iMazing will display the results in an easy-to-understand format. For example, after our scan, we received nine warnings, but there were no signs of malware or spyware infection.
The first step in dealing with an infected device is to remain calm. It’s possible that it’s a false positive, so repeat the test just to be safe. You can also send the report to the customer service team at iMazing for further analysis.
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If you get a positive result, iMazing recommends turning off your device and removing the SIM card right away, especially if you or your family members are politically active in a way that could put you in danger in your country. You can then take steps to remove the infection, such as restoring from an older backup (and analyzing it to ensure it isn’t infected as well) or wiping all of your data from the device and starting over.