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Apple Sues Spyware Maker NSO Group

Tech giants Apple inc (AAPL) announced on Tuesday that it is suing the Israeli software firm behind the Pegasus spyware scandal earlier this year.

The firm, NSO Group sells the Pegasus spyware to governments and other influential bodies across the globe to tap into the mobile phones of individuals to keep a tab on their actions.

The software, if inserted in the phone, can control the phone remotely, including the camera of the phones and other important messaging software. The database was leaked to investigating media authorities Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International in Paris back in July.

In a press release, the company said, "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."

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, said, "State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change. 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."

Coupled with a permanent ban of the NSO Group and its software, Apple is also looking for a $75,000 compensation for the damages.

The lawsuit was filed in the federal court in the Northern District of California. The company argued that the software uses FORCEDENTRY into the devices of a small number of Apple device holders who will be informed about their data being made vulnerable by the state-sponsored software program.

"To deliver FORCEDENTRY to Apple devices, attackers created Apple IDs to send malicious data to a victim's device — allowing NSO Group or its clients to deliver and install Pegasus spyware without a victim's knowledge. Though misused to deliver FORCEDENTRY, Apple servers were not hacked or compromised in the attacks," said Apple.

The NSO Group has been cornered by multiple US institutions like the US Department of Commerce sanctioned the group from using any US-based technology in its operations. Another tech giant, Meta, formerly Facebook Inc (FB), is also suing the firm for infiltrating Whatsapp messenger.

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