Apple sues NSO Group for hacking into iPhones with ‘Pegasus’ Spyware

Apple has sued Israel’s NSO group, which it says is behind the controversial spyware called Pegasus. 

In a blog post on Tuesday [November 23, 2021], Apple announced the lawsuit against NSO in hopes of holding “it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users.”

Apple has gone a step further. To prevent NSO from causing “further abuse,” Apple is seeking a “permanent injunction” which would ban NSO from using any Apple software, device, or services.

NSO – A state-sponsored actor

“State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change,” Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said in the blog post.

Federighi added that these threats only affect only a small number of their customers through NSO Group’s “FORCEDENTRY” exploit, which exploited a now-patched vulnerability to break into an Apple user’s phone to install Pegasus.

Initially, the exploit was discovered by Citizen Lab, a research group from the University of Toronto. A list of all targeted individuals in different countries was shared collectively by media houses around the globe earlier this year.

What can Pegasus do?

Pegasus can easily access the microphone, camera, and other data on Apple and Android devices. FORCEDENTRY was delivered to Apple devices by creating Apple IDs that sent dangerous data to a victim’s iPhone. Owing to this, the spyware was installed without the victim’s knowledge.

Apple also announced a $10 million contribution to support cybersurveillance researchers and advocates

The spyware has reportedly been used in countries across the globe including India to snoop on government officials, opposition leaders, activists, and journalists. Earlier, NSO had claimed that it only sells its Pegasus spyware to elected governments across the globe.

Below is the blog post by Apple on the law suit.

Apple sues NSO Group to curb the abuse of state-sponsored spyware

Apple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSO Group and its parent company to hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users.

The complaint provides new…