Apple has announced legal action against NSO Group, the Israeli company responsible for spyware known as Pegasus. In its press release, the Cupertino company wants to block NSO Group from using its products, software and services for fraudulent use thereof. And in addition, he seeks to compensate himself by asking for compensation that he will donate to civilian groups for the defense of security and privacy.
Fraudulent use of Apple products
The NSO Group and its customers dedicate the vast resources and capabilities of nation states to highly targeted cyber attacks, allowing them access to microphone, camera, and other sensitive data on Apple and Android devices. To provide FORCEDENTRY to Apple devices, attackers created Apple ID accounts to send malicious data to the victim’s device, allowing NSO Group or its customers to send and install Pegasus spyware to the without the victim’s knowledge.
Apple indicates in its memo that FORCEDENTRY is an exploit used in a vulnerability that has already been patched. This made it possible to access the device and install Pegasus, the well-known hacking software of the Middle Eastern firm. Apple specifies that its servers were not hacked or affected in any way by these attacks.
Over the years, NSO Group’s software has been used by some authoritarian states to infiltrate political dissidents and journalists. This was demonstrated a few months ago by a report from Amnesty International, where it was shown that Pegasus can infect devices with iOS 14.6.
Apple’s allegations against NSO Group seem too broad. But the fraudulent use of iMessage could be the key to the case for Cupertino to obtain a victory, at least partial.
From hackers in a basement to the takeover of states armed to the teeth
“Companies like the state-funded NSO Group are spending millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technology without any oversight. This must change. Apple devices are the safest consumer products on the market, but the private companies that create state-funded spyware have become even more dangerous “- Craig Federighi.
The problem for Apple is how the situation has changed. From confrontation, say, to a lone hacker in the basement of his home in a remote town to publicly funded businesses. In between, there are also organized cybercriminals. But it is clear that having state support is another story.
It’s not just about accessing implicit funding when paying for NSO Group services. Combining these spyware tools with anything that has any status at your disposal is the really worrying thing. And that’s when the balance got out of balance.
This is why Apple intends to rebalance the battle with this demand. It hopes that NSO Group will not be able to use its products, services and software for its purposes. It is also a warning to other players tempted to emulate the success of the NSO Group.
Apple has indicated that it is notifying the small number of users that it believes may have been affected by FORCEDENTRY. Likewise, he announced a $ 10 million fund to help investigate cyberattacks.