Apple sues NSO Group for spyware | Latest News Headlines

Apple sues NSO Group for spyware

| Latest News Headlines | World News

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, alleges that NSO’s spyware, known as Pegasus, and other malware caused monetary and material damage to Apple and violated the human rights of users of it. ‘Apple along the way.
“To prevent further abuse and harm its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, service or device,” Apple said in a statement.

In a statement on Tuesday, NSO Group did not address the details of the lawsuit and instead said the company’s technology saves lives.

The NSO group provides “legal tools” to help governments fight pedophiles and terrorists, the firm said.

While NSO Group has long argued that it only sells its software to authorized users for law enforcement and counterterrorism purposes, researchers have uncovered years of evidence that Pegasus had been used. to monitor dissidents and human rights activists.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said in September that an unidentified party was using Pegasus and an Apple operating system vulnerability to spy on a Saudi activist.

The lawsuit is the latest setback for NSO Group, which cybersecurity analysts and human rights activists have long accused of doing business with repressive governments. The company’s easy-to-use spyware is able to eavesdrop on a phone’s communications and access other sensitive data on the device, the researchers said.

The US Department of Commerce this month added the NSO Group to its so-called “entity list,” effectively prohibiting the company from purchasing software components from unlicensed US vendors. Commerce accused NSO Group, and another Israeli company known as Candiru, of supplying spyware to foreign governments that “used these tools to maliciously target” journalists, embassy workers and others. activists.

In a statement at the time, NSO Group said it was “appalled by the decision as our technologies support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime, and we will therefore advocate for that this decision be quashed “.

“We look forward to presenting all the information on how we have the most rigorous human rights and compliance programs in the world, based on [on] the American values ​​that we share deeply “, according to the press release,” which have already led to multiple breaks in contacts [sic] with government agencies who have abused our products. “

Candiru could not be reached for comment at the time.

Apple is at least the second major US tech company to sue NSO Group. Facebook (now known as Meta) in 2019 sued NSO Group for allegedly facilitating the breach of 1,400 phones running the WhatsApp messaging app.

NSO Group has denied Facebook’s claims and tried to block the case from moving forward. But a U.S. appeals court ruled this month that the trial can continue.

Apple said it would pay $ 10 million, plus any damages resulting from the lawsuit, to “organizations pursuing cyber surveillance research and advocacy.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages from the NSO group, as well as “compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial”.

NSO Group is just one of many companies that sell specialized hacking tools to break into different types of mobile phones.

In his lawsuit, Apple lawyers reflected on what they called a “continuing arms race” between Apple engineers and NSO Group code writers.

“Even as Apple develops solutions and improves the security of its devices, the defendants are constantly updating their malware and exploits to overcome Apple’s own security upgrades,” the complaint states.

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