Apple suing Israeli spyware maker

Apple suing Israeli spyware maker

Apple is suing Israel-based spyware firm NSO Group and its parent company. The company’s Pegasus software has been used to spy on politicians, activists and journalists. The software can infect both iPhones and Android phones. Apple is suing the company for allegedly targeting iPhone users with a hacking tool.

Operators using the NSO software can extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras. NSO has said it provides tools for governments etc to be used against terrorists and criminals and that thousands of lives have been saved thanks to its technology.

Apple said that to prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.

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“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.”

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The spying using the Pegasus software was originally identified by the Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto.

Apple said that it will donate USD 10 million as well as any damages recovered in the lawsuit, to cybersurveillance research groups including Citizen Lab.

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