Apple has filed a lawsuit against NSO Group and its parent company in order to hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users. The complaint filed by Apple claims to provide new information on how NSO Group infected victims’ devices with its Pegasus spyware. The American tech giant is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices. Also Read - Apple India reveals the best apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac in 2021: Check out the list
The NSO Group is behind Pegasus, a surveillance technology that allows its highly targeted spyware. The attacks have been detected on a small number of users, across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Also Read - Apple: iPhone 13 demand falls as global chip shortage crisis continues to hit the world
“State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market — but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous. While these cybersecurity threats only impact a very small number of our customers, we take any attack on our users very seriously, and we’re constantly working to strengthen the security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all our users safe.” Also Read - Apple iPhone users continue to face call-dropping issue: Report
Apple’s legal complaint provides new information on NSO Group’s FORCEDENTRY, an exploit for a now-patched vulnerability previously used to break into a victim’s Apple device and install the latest version of NSO Group’s spyware product, Pegasus. The exploit was originally identified by the Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto.
The spyware was used to attack a small number of Apple users worldwide with malware and spyware. Apple’s lawsuit seeks to ban NSO Group from further harming individuals by using Apple’s products and services. The lawsuit also seeks redress for NSO Group’s violations of US federal and state law, arising out of its efforts to target and attack Apple and its users.
NSO Group has also faced either legal action or criticism from Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms Inc, Alphabet Inc and Cisco Systems Inc.
NSO claims that it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and has safeguards in place to prevent misuse. The company claims that “thousands of lives” have been saved through the use of its tools.
“Pedophiles and terrorists can freely operate in technological safe-havens, and we provide governments the lawful tools to fight it. NSO Group will continue to advocate for the truth,” a Reuters report cited the group’s spokesperson.