Current Affairs

Prepare IAS Coaching

Current Affairs


Date : Nov 16, 2021

Description :

Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 13th November 2021 on Page Number 5

Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper III)

Why in News:


  • Emphasizing that state power to act on behalf of national security cannot completely be on the cost of compromising the ‘Right to Privacy’ of citizens, the Supreme Court has appointed a committee of experts which will be presided by former Supreme Court judge R.V. Raveendran to investigate allegations that the Central Government used Israeli software Pegasus to spy on citizens.


What is the problem:


  • Petitioners have complained that the Government of India had misused the spyware software ‘Pegasus’ to collect their personal information, which is in direct conflict with the privacy of citizens, which is a fundamental right under article 21 of the Indian Constitution.




  • Continued use of spyware Pegasus in India which is made by an Israeli company that sells it only to governments around the world, has been confirmed by various non-official reports.


What is Pegasus:


  • It is a spyware tool developed by an Israeli company, NSO Group.


  • Various agencies use it to spy on targeted users by collecting their personal information.


  • Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and when the target user clicks on the link, a malicious computer program or a software code is installed on the user's phone which allows to do the surveillance of the user.


  • Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has full access to the target user's phone.


What can Pegasus do:


  • Pegasus "can retrieve targeted personal data, including passwords, contacts, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps".


  • The target's phone camera and microphone can be turned on to capture all activities close to the phone, thus increasing the range of surveillance.


Difference between Malware & Spyware:


S. No.




It is a code or a file which is used to cause destruction to personal computer or network of the targeted user.

Spyware is also a type of Spyware only, which has a speacialized funcrtion of collecting information from the electronic device of the targeted user.


Malware is a broad term which includes various types of malicious softwares including Spyware.

Other types of malware are ransomware, fileless malware, adware, etc.

Spyware is a sub-type of the malware only.


It is more harmful than spyware.

It is less harmful than malware.


It can be detected & removed from the electronic device of the targeted user using a anti-virus software.

It can only be detected & removed from the electronic device of the targeted user using a anti-spyware software.


It has the tendency to replicate itself and form copies of itself thus enhancing its damaging potention.

It does not have the power to self-replicate itself.


It can perform various destructive functions like slowing down the electronic device, corrupting the entire data, or causing error in the electronic operations.

It is mainly used by 3rd party organizations or firms to collect the personal information of the targeted user.


Examples à Ryuk, Astraroth, Fireball, Emotet, Stuxnet, Zacinlo, Triada, Echobot, Olympic Vision, etc.

Examples à Pegasus, Gater, ISTBar, Transponder, Blazefind, Hot as hell, etc.


Tags : spyware, malware, pegasus

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