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Spyware tools of NSO Group allegedly used to spy on activists through WhatsApp security flaws

The products of the NSO Group, which operated in secret for years, were found in 2016 as part of a spying campaign on the iPhone of a now-jailed human-rights activist in the United Arab Emirates through undisclosed Apple security vulnerabilities. Since then, the NSO Group’s spyware has been found on the iPhones of journalists, dissidents, and even nutritionists.

The NSO Group said in a statement on Monday that its spyware was strictly licensed to government agencies and that it would investigate any “credible allegations of misuse.” The company said it would not be involved in identifying a target for its technology, including the lawyer at the center of the latest accusations.

Human Rights organizations have raised concern against the repeatedly evidenced digital attacks targeting human rights defenders, journalists, activists intended to surveil, harass and otherwise interfere with their work. 

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