Apple filed the lawsuit in California’s federal court on Tuesday. The company claims that Pegasus, NSO’s spyware, and other malware have caused Apple damages and violated the human rights of Apple users.
In its address, the NSO Group stated that the firm’s technology saves lives but had no comments about the specifics of the lawsuit.
There Is Evidence That Pegasus Has Been Used to Spy on Civil Rights Activists and Political Dissidents
The Israeli company insists it only sells its software to official users who use it to increase security and fight crime. Still, many instances of Pegasus software being used to surveil dissidents and human rights activists were discovered over the years.
The latest misuse was addressed in a research paper published by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab in September. It revealed that an undisclosed group was using Pegasus, combined with a vulnerability in Apple OS, to spy on activists from Saudi Arabia.
This report caused unrest among Apple users. Generally, Apple devices are considered safer than Android, as only 0.7% of total mobile malware threats are aimed at iOS.
Apple’s Lawsuit Is the Latest in a Series of Setbacks for NSO Group
Cybersecurity experts and human rights activists have long accused NSO Group of cooperating with repressive regimes. The researchers say that the firm’s spyware can listen and analyze phone communications and acquire sensitive data stored on devices.
Apple’s lawsuit is the latest in a series of setbacks for NSO Group. Earlier this month, the US Commerce Department added it to its so-called “entity list” for suspicion of enabling repressive regimes to target journalists and political opponents. As a result, NSO Group now can’t buy software components from US vendors without a specific license.
In 2019, Facebook sued NSO Group for supposedly aiding the breach of 1,400 phones running the WhatsApp application. NSO Group has denied the allegations made by the US Commerce Department and Facebook.
The latest development shows that anyone can be a malware target. Therefore, investing in good antivirus software is a sound choice.