Tech giant also seeks ban on firm from using any Apple products or tech
Tech giant Apple is suing Iraeli cyber-security firm NSO and its parent group Q Cyber Technologies for allegedly targeting Apple users with the Pegasus hacking software via a ‘FORCEDENTRY’ exploit. Apple is also seeking a ban on NSO using any Apple tech, software or services.
When the ‘Pegasus’ scandal broke, the firm said that the technology – licensed to governments around the world, including those known to spy on their own citizens – was only used against terrorists and claimed that the Washington Post’s investigation was without merit. However, among examples of phones hacked using the software was Middle East Eye‘s Turkey bureau chief Ragip Soylu, which was hacked by Saudi Arabia.
An NSO attempt to avoid a lawsuit from WhatsApp on the grounds that it had ‘foreign sovereign immunity’ was rejected by a US court. According to Middle East Eye, the French government was finalising plans to buy Pegasus spyware in July but cut off negotiations when it realised politicians, including President Emmanuel Macron, may have been targeted with the product, The French government has denied it was planning to purchase the system.
Apple’s Craig Federighi said in a statement that:
State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.
While these cybersecurity threats only impact a very small number of our customers, we take any attack on our users very seriously, and we’re constantly working to strengthen the security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all our users safe.
An NSO spokesperson told MEE that:
thousands of lives were saved around the world thanks to NSO Group’s technologies used by its customers. Paedophiles 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.
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