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Article

24 Nov 2021

Author:
Stephen Nellis, Reuters

USA: Apple files lawsuit against NSO Group, saying its US users were targets of Pegasus spyware

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies for alleged surveillance and targeting of U.S. Apple users with its Pegasus spyware.

The iPhone maker said it is also seeking to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or devices to prevent further abuse.

... Earlier this month, U.S. officials placed the company on a trade blacklist. NSO has also faced either legal action or criticism from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O)

In a statement, NSO, which says it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and has safeguards in place to prevent misuse, said that "thousands of lives" have been saved through the use of its tools.

“Pedophiles and terrorists can freely operate in technological safe-havens, and we provide governments the lawful tools to fight it. NSO Group will continue to advocate for the truth," a spokesperson said in a statement...

Apple alleged that NSO Group created more than 100 fake Apple ID user credentials to carry out its attacks. Apple said that its servers were not hacked, but that NSO misused and manipulated the servers to deliver the attacks on Apple users.

Apple also alleged that NSO Group was directly involved in providing consulting services for the attacks, which is noteworthy because NSO has maintained that it sells its tools to clients...

The iPhone maker said that it will donate $10 million, as well as any damages recovered in the lawsuit, to cybersurveillance research groups including Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto group that first discovered NSO's attacks.