Apple sues NSO Group, spyware vendor known for helping governments hack critics

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Nov 23, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

Apple is suing Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group “to hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users,” the company announced Tuesday.

The technology company is seeking to permanently ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or devices amid reports that the firm sells technology that makes it possible for governments to hack individual devices to spy on journalists, dissidents and human rights activists. As part of those efforts NSO Group has developed exploits capable of subverting Apple’s security controls, Apple said in its suit.

“State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement. “Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market — but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous.”

NSO Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The U.S. government added NSO Group to its sanctions list on Nov. 4, citing its spyware being used to “maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers.” The company had previously

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