If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the “i” in iPhone stands for imbecile. People buy them to prove to the world they are imbeciles. These supposed “smart phones” are the dumbest thing you could ever purchase and you are paying anywhere from 2-8 times manufacturing cost for them.
There have been many iterations of Pegasus, the Israeli spyware commercially available to “governments.” God only knows how many versions existed before the product was publicly acknowledged. First publicly acknowledged version came out in 2011. It’s been cracking iPhones like eggs to make an Omlette ever since. You can read the sordid history here.
I and most others really want to know how an Arab government got hold of supposedly well controlled Israeli spyware to install on a human rights defender’s phone in the United Arab Emirates. If you casually watch the news you know that most of the Arab nations want to destroy Israel so the concept of them paying money to Israel for something is mind boggling. I guess they hate human rights more than they hate Israelis?
Those Were the Good Guys
Think about that. This firm existed out in public and was supposedly tightly controlled. Even with all of that control and supposed oversight, the UAE managed to obtain the software and install it on the phones of human rights defenders and journalists. Ponder for a moment what the KG-used-to-Be has given the excessive funding provided by Putin.
It’s not just Putin. Read the C-Net post on Vault 7 if you don’t want governments tracking your visit to Wiki-Leaks. Yes, our own beloved CIA has spyware for phones, smart TVs and devices, as well as your desktops and laptops. If you own any “smart” device that is always connected to the Internet basically assume it has been hacked.
Voice activated devices (Alexa are you voice activated?) are a prime target. Now if your voice activated device has a camera that’s even better! 24-hour surveillance without having to plant a physical bug. Your imbecile phone has at least one camera, responds to voice, and you are always using it. The ultimate surveillance tool and insert-agency-here didn’t even have to buy it.
What’s hilarious in a freakishly frightening way is that I wrote about this years ago in John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars. How every human had to have the latest and greatest monitoring device. Once the “haves” were saturated governments around the world won favor by providing free monitoring devices to those who could not afford the latest and greatest.
China Ban’s iPhone
Hats off to the Communist party of China for doing what our government should have done a decade ago. China reportedly banned iPhone use by government employees. Think about it. If every government, good or bad, around the world has Pegasus or something like it, no government employee should be allowed to have an iPhone or any other “smart” phone. They should be given a stick/flip phone that can only make calls. No texting, no over the air software updates, no Internet access. You can just talk on it. The OS needs to be burned onto an EPROM, not flashed onto what essentially is an SD-card. The only way to upgrade the OS is to replace the chip.
In Case You Didn’t Read
As of March 2023, Pegasus operators were able to remotely install the spyware on iOS versions through 16.0.3, through a zero-click exploit. While the capabilities of Pegasus may vary over time due to software updates, Pegasus is generally capable of reading text messages, call snooping, collecting passwords, location tracking, accessing the target device’s microphone and camera, and harvesting information from apps. The spyware is named after Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology.Wikipedia
I have read other technical articles stating the latest “zero-click” exploit is a single missed call. How many of those do you get each day? Do you call any back to find out the listed number is no longer in service? Have you bothered to have really good (not the $19.95 stuff) phone anti-virus software scan your phone?
Everyone is a target for 24×7 phone monitoring. Every law enforcement agency wants the data to more quickly solve things like this. It’s only one tenth of a step from after the fact to formation of a Pre-Crime Division.
Thinking like that used to be a complete nutter position. Now that we are building thousands of data centers to trillions upon trillions of GB of data as well as training AI to sift through the data a really evil version of Person of Interest is just around the corner.
“Hello, Lifelock support, how may I help you?”
“Hello. I think my identity has been stolen?”
“I’m sorry to hear that. I see from the phone system responses you are an active customer. Let me ask you some basic questions to get the process started.”
“First, do you own a smart phone?”
“Do you do any banking using your smart phone?”
“Yes. I look at my balance and deposit checks.”
“Do you store your banking password in the browser or elsewhere on the phone?”
“No, for that I use a password vault in the cloud. The one you recommended if I remember correctly.”
“Do you store the password for your password vault in your browser or otherwise on your phone?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Do you use Apple or Google pay apps on your phone?”
“Both. It’s so easy to pay waving my phone over a device.”
“Well, I think I see the problem and what we need to do about it.”
“You do? That’s great! Tell me what I can do!”
“First you need to get a plastic or paper grocery bag.”
“Got one right here.”
“Good. Now put your checkbook, cash station card, credit cards, and driver’s license into the bag.”
“Okay . . . but I don’t see how . . .”
“Now I need you to go to the nearest GoodWill store that has someone working receiving.”
“What do I do when I get there?”
“You hand them the plastic bag and tell them you are too stupid to have an identity, please give this to someone that deserves one.”