Apple sues Israeli NSO Group over spyware use

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Apple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber intelligence companies NSO Group and its parent company for “holding it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users.” Company announced.

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description: Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting NSO Group from using Apple devices, software or services, according to a press release.

  • Apple’s legal complaint reveals new information about how NSO Group used its Pegasus software to infect users’ devices, and about the group’s exploit of a now-patched security flaw that was first reported by the watchdog group. Discovered by Citizen Lab.
  • Apple has pledged to contribute $10 million to organizations pursuing “cyber surveillance research and advocacy,” plus any damages won in the lawsuit.

state of play: NSO Group’s Pegasus software has become a valuable tool for governments seeking to spy on journalists, critics and heads of state, an international consortium of investigative journalists revealed earlier this summer.

  • Earlier this month, the US blacklisted the NSO group for engaging in activities contrary to the interests of US national security and foreign policy.

What are they saying: “State-sponsored actors such as the NSO group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. This needs to change,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering in the press release.

  • “Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market – but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous,” he said.
  • “While these cybersecurity threats only affect a small number of our customers, we take any attack on our users very seriously, and we are strengthening the security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all of our users safe. Working continuously to do that.”

On the other end: “Thousands of lives have been saved around the world thanks to the technologies NSO Group uses from its customers,” an NSO Group spokesperson told Nerdshala.

  • “Pedophiles and terrorists can freely operate in technological safe havens, and we provide governments with legitimate tools to fight this. The NSO group will continue to advocate for truth.”
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