Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Apple sues Israeli hacker recruiting company NSO Group

RICHMOND, Virginia. – Tech giant Apple announced Tuesday that it is suing Israel’s NSO Group in an effort to block the world’s most notorious hacker hiring company from hacking into Apple products such as the iPhone.

Apple said in a complaint filed in a California federal court that NSO Group employees are “immoral 21st century mercenaries who have developed sophisticated cyber surveillance mechanisms that allow for routine and flagrant abuse.” Apple said NSO Group spyware, called Pegasus, was used to attack a small number of Apple customers around the world.

“Government-backed actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technology without effective accountability. This needs to be changed, ”said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software development.

NSO Group generally denies wrongdoing and says its products have been used by governments to save lives.

“Pedophiles and terrorists are free to operate in technological safe havens, and we provide governments with the legal tools to fight them. NSO will continue to defend the truth, ”the company said in a statement.

This is the latest blow to the hacker firm, which was recently blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce and is currently filing a lawsuit from social media giant Facebook.

Security researchers have discovered that Pegasus is being used around the world to hack the phones of human rights defenders, journalists and even members of the Catholic clergy.

Pegasus infiltrates phones to collect personal and location data and secretly controls the smartphones’ microphones and cameras. Researchers have found several examples of NSO Group tools using so-called zero-click exploits that infect targeted mobile phones without any user interaction.

This month, the Biden administration announced that the NSO Group and another Israeli cybersecurity firm, Candiru, have been added to a “roster of organizations,” which restricts their access to US components and technologies, requiring government approval to export.

Also this month, security researchers discovered that Pegasus spyware was found on the mobile phones of six Palestinian human rights defenders. And recently, Mexican prosecutors announced they had arrested a businessman on charges that he used Pegasus spyware to spy on a journalist.

Facebook is suing NSO Group for using a similar exploit that allegedly invaded its world-wide encrypted messaging app WhatsApp. This month, a US federal court of appeals ruled against NSO Group’s attempt to dismiss the claim.

Apple also announced on Tuesday that it is donating $ 10 million, as well as any damages won in the NSO Group’s lawsuit, to cyber surveillance researchers and lawyers.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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