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The point on Apple’s lawsuit against Nso Group



The point on Apple’s lawsuit against Nso Group

Apple sues Nso Group, an Israeli company that developed the Pegasus spyware. With which, according to the Cupertino company, Nso would have spied on iOS users.

The tech giants are experiencing a season full of pitfalls. They are accused or (as in this case) accused of illegal use of technology, often at the expense of users or free competition.

The echo of the uproar aroused by the Facebook Papers, which have put Zuckerberg’s company in crisis, is still very fresh. Luckily for him, he changed the name of the group to Meta and concentrated his own and others’ attention on the metaverse.

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Even more recent, speaking of free competition, is the double sentence that the Italian Competition Authority has inflicted on Amazon and Apple. The reason? A 2018 agreement that, in violation of competition rules, limited the sale of Apple products on Amazon.it to Apple itself and to just about twenty authorized resellers.

This time it is the Cupertino company that denounces: Apple has sued Nso Group, the Israeli company that developed the Pegasus spyware. Apple announced this on Tuesday, November 23 with a post on its website. What happened?

Apple sues Nso Group

Apple sues Nso Group over spyware developed by the Israeli company.

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Who, we could say with a joke, took his name and his task too literally, spying on the customers of the Cupertino giant.

Apple’s accusation against the Nso Group, we read in the post, is that of having “infected the devices of the victims with its spyware Pegasus. To prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban Nso Group from using any Apple software, service or device. “

Nso spyware

Nso Group creates sophisticated, state-sponsored surveillance technology that allows its highly targeted spyware to monitor its victims, ”the note continues..

Specifically, their most famous software, Pegasus, is being accused. Capable of infecting a user’s device and reluctantly accessing a large amount of activities and services: camera, microphone, photo gallery, location, messages, emails and calls.

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Pegasus was delivered to Apple devices via a system vulnerability called FORCEDENTRY. The issue has been fixed for devices running iOS 15 and later.

Journalists and activists in the crosshairs

To abuse Pegasus would have been several governments, which in this way would have controlled the activities of journalists, academics, activists and political opponents.

The scandal, which we reported in another article, broke out in July. When well 16 news outlets shed light on a list of 50,000 telephone numbers controlled by Pegasuswhich Nso allegedly resold to a number of authoritarian governments.

But not only that: among the intercepted there was also talk of top-level politicians, such as French President Emmanuel Macron. Which seems to have been controlled by Morocco as early as 2019.

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Apple after Facebook

This is the second complaint against Nso Group in two years. In 2019, Facebook filed a lawsuit against the Israeli companyto protect WhatsApp users.

And it is very recent the news that, due to this lack of clarity in operations, the United States government has decided to ban the Nso Group. The company has ended up on the federal blacklist, which means that NSO will no longer be able to buy American technology.

Apple’s statement

In the Apple note there is also a quotation mark from Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering.

Federighi said: “State-sponsored actors like the NSO group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without actual accountability. This needs to change.

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Apple devices are the safest consumer hardware on the market, but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous. While these cybersecurity threats only impact a very limited number of our customers, we take any attacks on our users very seriously and are constantly working to strengthen security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all of our users safe. “.

Apple and user safety

To protect the safety of its users, Apple says in the note that “it will contribute $ 10 million, in addition to any damages resulting from the lawsuit, to organizations that pursue research and defense of cyber surveillance.”