Remember earlier this year when reports that Pegasus Spyware had been targeting journalists, activists, and other people of interest via their iPhones? Well, Apple fixed the exploit that enabled it, and now they’re suing the company behind the spyware, the NSO Group.
That’s bad news for the NSO Group, which was recently put on the blacklist by the Biden administration for acting “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US.” In addition, the lawsuit from Apple seeks a permanent injunction against the NSO Group and their parent company from using any Apple product or service in the future.
Apple filed the lawsuit in a federal court in California, and aims to “hold [the NSO Group] accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users.” The lawsuit also asks for damages, for the NSO Group’s alleged “flagrant violations of U.S. federal and state law.”
That would make things more difficult for the Israeli spyware company to develop new attacks against Apple’s devices, although it possibly wouldn’t completely stop them.
I mean, they’ve been selling their spyware tools to authoritarian governments like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Rwanda, and Mexico, none of which have a great track record when it comes to tracking their citizens, or those of other countries.
It wouldn’t be a great leap of logic to infer that all an injunction would do is give the NSO Group more legal ammo the next time they were caught.
The NSO Group provided The Guardian a statement, which reads “Thousands of lives were saved around the world thanks to NSO Group’s technologies used by its customers. Pedophiles 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.”
Apple isn’t the only company with pending litigation against the NSO Group over its creation of the Pegasus spyware. WhatsApp is also suing over the alleged targeting of its own servers in California, which gave customers of the NSO Group access to roughly 1,400 mobile devices, in violation of U.S. federal and state law.
Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.