Apple sued NSO Group, a company known for hacking iPhones on behalf of the government

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a keynote speech at the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

Brooks Kraft/Apple/Reuters Handout

Apple Tuesday Prosecute NSO Group is an Israeli company that sells software to government agencies and law enforcement agencies that enables them to hack the iPhone and read the data in it, including messages and other communications.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International Said It discovered the latest models of iPhones belonging to journalists and human rights lawyers that had been infected with the NSO Group malware called Pegasus.

Apple is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting NSO Group from using Apple software, services or equipment. It also seeks compensation in excess of US$75,000.

Apple believes that this lawsuit is a warning to other spyware vendors. “The steps Apple is taking today will send a clear message: in a free society, it is unacceptable to weaponize powerful state-backed spyware against innocent users and those seeking to make the world a better place. “Ivan Krstic, head of Apple, said. Security engineering and architecture, In tweet.

In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District Federal Court, Apple stated that the NSO Group’s software allows “attacks, including attacks from sovereign governments, which pay hundreds of millions of dollars to target and attack a small number of users, including NSO customers who are particularly interested. The state of California states that it is not “ordinary consumer malware”.

Apple also said on Tuesday that it has patched a vulnerability that enables the NSO Group software to use “zero-click” attacks to access private data on the iPhone, in which the malware is transmitted via SMS, leaving almost no trace of infection.

Apple claims in the lawsuit that users of Pegasus can remotely monitor the activities of iPhone users, collect emails, text messages and browsing history, and access the device’s microphone and camera.

Apple said that these attacks are only targeted at a small number of customers, and said on Tuesday that it will notify iPhone users that they may have been targeted by Pegasus malware.

“In order to provide FORCEDENTRY to Apple devices, the attacker created an Apple ID to send malicious data to the victim’s device-allowing NSO Group or its customers to provide and install Pegasus spyware without the victim’s knowledge,” Apple said Said in its announcement. “Despite being abused to provide FORCEDENTRY, Apple servers were not hacked or compromised in the attack.”

Apple stated that NSO Group created an Apple ID account and violated the iCloud terms of service to operate its spyware.

NSO Group is accused of using the “0day” vulnerability to create its spyware or flaws that Apple has not fixed. Once Apple fixes the vulnerability, it is no longer 0day, and users can protect themselves by updating their iPhone software.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International stated that it had found evidence that the iPhone 12 was hacked and obtained a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers that included targets for the NSO Group software. NSO Group software is Allegedly used to monitor relatives And someone close to the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Turkey by an assassin working on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty International also stated that it found NSO Group malware on the iPhones of a French human rights lawyer, a French activist, an Indian journalist and a Rwandan activist.

U.S. Department of Commerce Group of Blacklisted National Bureau of Statistics Earlier this month, it was banned from using American technology in its operations. Yuan, Formerly known as Facebook, as is the subsidiary WhatsApp Sued NSO Group separately.

Apple said it will donate $10 million and any losses caused by lawsuits to organizations focused on combating digital surveillance.

A spokesperson for the NSO Group said in a statement: “Because its customers have used NSO Group’s technology, thousands of lives have been saved around the world.” “Pedophiles and terrorists can move freely in the technological haven. We Provide the government with legal tools to combat it. NSO Group will continue to advocate for the truth.”


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