In this article, we’ll tell you how to check if your iPhone has been infected with Pegasus spyware. The return of Pegasus in the news cycle a few weeks ago brought this spyware back into the spotlight. Its invulnerability to iOS 14.6 made it especially dangerous, as it was one of the most recent versions of iOS. Now and thanks to iMazing and Amnesty International, there is a simple and free tool with which to check if our iPhone has been infected with Pegasus. Let’s see what it consists of.
A tool based on the work of Amnesty International
A few weeks ago, Amnesty International published its Mobile Verification Toolkit, a free tool hosted on GitHub that allowed us to check if our Android phone or iPhone was infected. The tool is not easy to use by users not accustomed to the command line, so it pretty much alienated Pegasus’ target audience from authoritarian regimes (journalists, dissidents, etc.).
Now, iMazing has added a test to its popular device maintenance application to detect Pegasus spyware. And it does it for free based on the work of Amnesty International. Its intention is not to “sow fear”, as the vast majority of iPhone users are not at risk, but to “lower the barrier of entry” to the tool.
From iMazing they assure that the use of the tool is anonymous and free, even when you have passed the 7-day trial of the application. All analysis occurs on our Mac or PC and none of our data is uploaded to the cloud or any of our or third-party servers. To give us peace of mind, the company encourages the backup with which its application works to be encrypted.
Pegasus is targeted at specific users who “annoy” certain authoritarian regimes, so the general user can rest assured.
It is worth remembering that this type of Pegasus attack is targeted at specific subjects. The “contagion” occurs from the receipt of a link, which is not even necessary to open (hence its dangerousness). As always, we recommend updating iOS to the latest version, with iOS 14.7.1 being the one believed to fix the bugs exploited by Pegasus.
How to check if your iPhone has been infected with Pegasus spyware?
First, we will need to download and install the latest available version of iMazing. Following the steps, we will have it ready to use. On our Mac, we need to go to System Preferences> Security & Privacy> Privacy and check iMazing in the Full Disk Access folder. This way, we will allow the application to work with a local backup of our device.
Then, we connect our iPhone to the computer and agree to trust it if we have not already done so. We open iMazing and select it. Then, we will look for the Detect Spyware tool and click on it, at which point the guide to run it will open.
We will follow the steps, configuring the spyware “checker” as we want. Accept the terms and conditions and start the scan. It may take up to an hour, depending on the amount of data on your iPhone. But normally we will see this result, showing zero spyware threats:
In the remote case you see a positive, from iMazing They ask that you send them the results report. to rule out a false positive. While they sort it out, they recommend you remove the SIM from your iPhone and turn it off.
The only way to get rid of Pegasus, if we suspect or know from the tool that we are infected, is to put the iPhone in DFU mode and restore it from scratch. This is the most effective way to get rid of this spyware.