Apple is suing the hacker company NSO Group

Richmond, VirginiaTechnology giant Apple announced on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Israeli company NSO Group, in an attempt to prevent the world’s most famous hired hacker company from damaging Apple products, such as the iPhone.

Apple’s lawsuit filed in a federal court in California states that NSO Group’s employees are “amoral mercenaries from the 21st century who have created a very sophisticated cyber-surveillance machine that calls for flagrant and routine beatings.” Apple added that NSO Group’s spyware, called Pegasus, was used to attack a small number of Apple users around the world.

“State-sponsored actors, such as the NSO Group, spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technology without being held accountable in an effective way. That needs to change,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software technology.

The NSO Group has largely denied the crime and claims that governments have used its products to save lives.

“Pedophiles and terrorists can operate freely in technical havens, and we provide governments with the legal tools to combat them. The NSO Group will continue to advocate the truth,” the company said in a statement.

The trial was the latest attack on the hacker company, which the US Department of Commerce recently blacklisted. The social media giant Facebook also sued the company.

However, security researchers have discovered that the Pegasus program has been used around the world to sneak into the phones of human rights activists, journalists and even members of the Catholic Church.

Pegasus leaks into phones to access location and personal data and controls the device’s cameras and microphones without being detected. Researchers have found several examples of NSO Group tools that use so-called “zero click” attacks, which infect cell phones without any user interaction.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced this month that the NSO group and another Israeli cyber security company called Candiru would be added to the “entity list”, limiting their access to US components and technology by requiring a state permit for these exports.

Also this month, security investigators revealed that Pegasu’s spyware was discovered on the cell phones of six Palestinian human rights activists. In addition, Mexican authorities recently announced that they had arrested a businessman accused of using the program to spy on a journalist.

Facebook sued NSO Group for using a similar attack that allegedly allowed it to infiltrate WhatsApp, its popular encrypted messaging app.

A federal appeals court in the United States issued a ruling this month rejecting an attempt by the NSO group to reject the lawsuit.

Apple also announced a $ 10 million donation on Tuesday, as well as any compensation received in the lawsuit against the NSO Group, to cyber-surveillance investigators and activists.


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