THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 24 NOVEMBER, 2021
To prevent further misuse
American tech giant Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group and its parent company, to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users."
A news release by Apple states: "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, services, or devices."
The petition calls NSO "malicious hackers", with the introduction reading: "Defendants are notorious hackers—amoral 21st century mercenaries who have created highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance machinery that invites routine and flagrant abuse. They design, develop, sell, deliver, deploy, operate, and maintain offensive and destructive malware and spyware products and services that have been used to target, attack, and harm Apple users, Apple products, and Apple. For their own commercial gain, they enable their customers to abuse those products and services to target individuals including government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and even U.S. citizens."
“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. “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.”
The move comes after a global investigation revealed that Pegasus spyware is being used by governments to target journalists, activists and even government officials, in several countries, including India.
"Apple’s lawsuit seeks to ban NSO Group from further harming individuals by using Apple’s products and services. The lawsuit also seeks redress for NSO Group’s flagrant violations of US federal and state law, arising out of its efforts to target and attack Apple and its users," Apple's news statement reads.
The full petition is below: