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Apple today filed a lawsuit against NSO Group to hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users. Apple is seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.
NSO Group creates sophisticated attacks to target iOS devices. By using NSO Group’s technology, attackers can gain access to the microphone, camera, and other sensitive data on any Apple device. For a successful attack, the device owner should just open a link sent by the attacker or just view a message sent via iMessage.
“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.”
“At Apple, we are always working to defend our users against even the most complex cyberattacks. The steps we’re taking today will send a clear message: in a free society, it is unacceptable to weaponize powerful state-sponsored spyware against those who seek to make the world a better place,” said Ivan Krsti?, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture. “Our threat intelligence and engineering teams work around the clock to analyze new threats, rapidly patch vulnerabilities, and develop industry-leading new protections in our software and silicon. Apple runs one of the most sophisticated security engineering operations in the world, and we will continue to work tirelessly to protect our users from abusive state-sponsored actors like NSO Group.”
Apple also revealed that it is notifying the small number of users that it discovered may have been targeted by NSO Group’s FORCEDENTRY spyware.