Cambodians Cautioned to Shield Against Pegasus Cyber-Attacks

Pegasus is the type of spyware that is currently shaking the world as an intelligence virus that is sophisticated and hard to detect, digital security trainer Ngeth Moses said as he issued a warning for Cambodians to be careful.

“As far as I know, there has not been any clues or evidence that Cambodia has Pegasus. But in our neighboring country, Thailand, it has been found. If we don’t know about it, we cannot be prepared to prevent it,” Moses told Kiripost on Wednesday. “If the Cambodian people do not know yet, it is time for them to know.”

Pegasus is a modern and influential virus, meaning it can access phone systems without people knowing about it and they cannot block or delete it, Moses said.

“Being influential means it can do anything a phone owner can do, as well as be able to control it from a distance, track our location, record photos, take photos, videos, and access our cloud service,” Moses said.

On Monday, Amnesty International (AI) said in a joint report that in 2020 and 2021, the invasive Pegasus spyware has targeted or infected 30 victims in Thailand with harmful software.

The attacks involved prominent individuals leading mass pro-democracy protests, which called for major political and economic reforms, as well as academics and human rights defenders, who have publicly criticized the Thai government.

These findings stemmed from alarming notifications sent by Apple to many Thai activists to alert them that they had been targeted by the spyware in November 2021, AI said, adding its Security Lab independently confirmed five of the cases in the report through forensic analysis.

NSO Group, the Israeli company behind Pegasus, claims it only sells products to government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorists and criminals.

AI said that states have binding obligations under international law to not only respect human rights, but to protect them from abuse by third parties, including private companies.

“Amnesty International continues to call for a global moratorium on the sale, transfer, and use of spyware until human rights regulatory safeguards that govern its use are in place,” the organization said.

“Amnesty International continues to call for a global moratorium on the sale, transfer, and use of spyware until human rights regulatory safeguards that govern its use are in place,” it said.

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