New Delhi: Apple has sued Israeli spyware maker NSO Group and its parent company, as it aims to block it from using any of its technology and to stop any further harm to iPhone users globally. This comes weeks after the revelation that the NSO Group was spying on heads of the states, activists, politicians and journalists in many countries, including India.
The lawsuit has been filed by Apple against NSO Group and its parent company to hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users. The complaint provides new information on how NSO Group infected victims’ devices with its Pegasus spyware, according to the iPhone maker.
“State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“Apple devices are the most secure 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 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,” Federighi added.
Earlier this month, the United States (US) authorities had blacklisted Israeli company NSO over allegations that the company ‘enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression’, says a report by news agency AFP. NSO has also been put on a trade blacklist by the US. The move was made after the department ruled that NSO Group engaged ‘in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US’.
The Pegasus spyware is allegedly designed to let governments remotely access a phone’s microphones, cameras, and other data on both iPhones as well as Androids.
The spyware is also allegedly designed to be able to infect phones without requiring any action from the user and without leaving a trace, several reports had said.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the controversial NSO Group had said that it will work to reverse the US decision to blacklist it. NSO Group had issued a statement saying the company was ‘dismayed’ by the decision.
“Our technologies support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime,” the company had said.