The Israeli developer behind Pegasus monitoring software is under more pressure with a lawsuit from Apple. The US company wants to go to court to make sure that NSO Group is banned from using any of Apple’s hardware and software.
In the lawsuit published on Tuesday, an unspecified “compensation” is also required for spying on users as this would violate US law. NSO has been under fire for several months.
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In mid-July, an international journalist consortium reported that opposition members and journalists had been spied on with Pegasus. Traces of attacks were discovered on dozens of smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, members of their families and businessmen. NSO responded that Pegasus was “sold only to law enforcement and intelligence agencies of controlled governments for the sole purpose of saving lives by preventing crimes and acts of terrorism.”
But explanations are not enough for many. At the beginning of November, the US government put NSO on its sanctions list. There is evidence that the spyware was delivered to governments that used it to maliciously monitor government officials, journalists, and scientists, among others.
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Apple has confirmed that NSO has exploited a now-closed vulnerability to attack a “small number” of users of the group’s devices. “NSO Group and its clients use the vast resources and capabilities of nation states to carry out cyber attacks in a highly targeted manner that allows them to gain access to the microphone, camera, and other sensitive data on Apple and Android devices,” she added.
WhatsApp has sued NSO for years. Facebook’s Meta group chat service accuses the company of illegally exploiting its systems to monitor users. (dpa)
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