A spokesman for NSO Group, the Israeli company bought by a U.S. private equity firm and is responsible for developing Pegasus, claims the malware and was only sold to governments under signed agreements to be used in a lawful manner.
"Specifically, the products may only be used for the prevention and investigation of crimes," spokesperson Zamir Dahbash told the Washington Post.
Despite these claims, researchers suspect the malware was used to target pro-democracy activist Ahmed Mansoor, who originally sent the malware to Lookout and Citizen Lab to examine, and a Mexican whistleblower journalist, all of which Dahbash claimed to have no knowledge.
Users fearing they may have been infected by the Pegasus may use a free Lookout mobile app to screen their devices for infection. Researchers still encourage users to update their devices to iOS 9.3.5 if they already haven't.