A world made insecure by Israeli software

How will the security software be protected from hacking?

The Israeli company NSO Group has discovered a way to spy on individuals using mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices, in the face of which all security measures fail, using a special software called Pegasus. The software is sold only at the request of governments through the Israeli government and costs between $5 million and $7 million a year. India’s name is also included in the list of buyers of this software. A US security company has already revealed that Indian hackers are spying on Pakistani citizens and now on the revelation of hacking the phones of the Prime Minister of Pakistan and cabinet members by India, the Federal Minister for Information Technology has claimed to have developed a secure application called ‘Beep Pakistan’ and said that it would be possible to protect against hacking through this application.

This is not the first time that Israeli spy software by NSO has been used against Pakistan. In December 2019, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed that at least two dozen Pakistani government officials’ mobile phones had been targeted using Pegasus, and according to information published so far, this list includes the numbers of at least 180 journalists who belong to some of the world’s most reputable media organizations such as AFP, CNN and The New York Times, Al Jazeera and various other organizations. The list also includes a large number of human rights activists, but there is little point in pointing out that the software can only be used by countries with close ties to the Israeli government. India’s friendship with Israel is the result of this coordination that is why Pakistan is being spied on using Israeli software. India has been using this software not only to spy on its opponents but also some Kashmiri leaders, journalists and activists.

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It is a fact that Pakistan faces conspiracies directly from India and indirectly from the West and Israel, but this time hacking through Israeli software is a matter of concern, because no one has a crack for this software.

Pakistan has to find a way to break the Israeli software system instead of just making verbal claims and for that while developing a workable new software, we have to stop allowing foreigners to come and go freely in Pakistan. We first issue visas to foreigners in our own interest, then we cry for espionage operations. One by one, all avenues of espionage will have to be closed in the national interest. If the government takes any first practical step against the foreign spy network, then it will be known how serious the government is in securing the country and the people.

The federal Minister for Information Technology has claimed to have developed a special and secure application called ‘Beep Pakistan’, but this application is still being tested in-house, in a situation where ‘IPhones’ and ‘computers with Microsoft Windows systems’ manufactured by countries that spend more financial resources on research than Pakistan’s annual revenue and expenditure, are not safe. A Pakistani claim that it has developed a ‘secure’ application is important. In fact, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has announced ‘Beep Pakistan’ to avoid the pressure of the media, but it may not be possible to protect that software against hacking, because hacking has become a global weapon.

There is no doubt that the kind of projects that Israel is pursuing are more about spreading unrest than peace, and countries like India are equally involved in these projects, but the whole world is using this software. However, there is widespread outrage around the world over the use of this software, as its use has made it clear that electronic devices equipped with information technology are insecure and now only those who do not use so-called smart mobile phones and computers will be safe.

Israel should be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice for its blatant violation of personal liberty and human rights, as it has participated in the Fifth Generation War and has committed war and other crimes that have made every contact and expression suspicious.

Although former US National Security Adviser Edward Snowden has called for a ban on the use of Israeli software, the world is well aware of a saint abroad, a devil at home, as do statements made by US officials change with their own interests. However, this system of espionage is years old and every vigilant government keeps breaking it.

Pakistan has to find a way to break the Israeli software system instead of just making verbal claims and for that while developing a workable new software, we have to stop allowing foreigners to come and go freely in Pakistan. We first issue visas to foreigners in our own interest, then we cry for espionage operations. One by one, all avenues of espionage will have to be closed in the national interest. If the government takes any first practical step against the foreign spy network, then it will be known how serious the government is in securing the country and the people.

Attiya Munawer
The writer tweets @AttiyaMunawer

2 COMMENTS

  1. From Microsoft Windows to Linux, video games to social media apps Indians are everywhere, you cannot be sparred

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