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WhatsApp sues Israeli firm, accusing it of hacking activists' phones

WhatsApp has launched an unprecedented lawsuit against... NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance company, saying it is responsible for a series of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks... WhatsApp said it believed the technology sold by NSO was used to target the mobile phones of more than 1,400 of its users in 20 different countries during a 14-day period... WhatsApp believes those who were the subject of the cyber-attacks included leading human rights defenders and lawyers, prominent religious figures, well-known journalists, officials in humanitarian organisations,... women previously targeted by cyber-violence, and individuals who have faced assassination attempts and threats of violence, as well as their relatives...

WhatsApp’s lawsuit, filed in a California court on Tuesday, has demanded a permanent injunction blocking NSO from attempting to access WhatsApp computer systems and those of its parent company, Facebook. It has also asked the court to rule that NSO violated US federal law and California state law against computer fraud, breached their contracts with WhatsApp and “wrongfully trespassed” on Facebook’s property. “This is the first time that an encrypted messaging provider is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out this type of attack against its users,” said a WhatsApp spokesman. “In our complaint, we explain how NSO carried out this attack, including acknowledgement from an NSO employee that our steps to remediate the attack were effective.” 

Part of the following stories

WhatsApp sues Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group, accusing it of hacking the phones of human rights activists & journalists

NSO Group lawsuit (re hacking WhatsApp users)