NSO Group, along with Q Cyber Technologies, was sued by Apple in a US federal court after allegedly attacking consumers with Pegasus spyware and describing them as notorious amoral hackers in the 21st century who developed a high-level surveillance tool used for cybercrime and deliberate abuse. The file charged against the Israeli spyware firm marks another obstacle for them to face.
Apple also stressed in the lawsuit that the spyware firm is now banned from breaking into any Apple devices, software, and services. On a separate note, the tech giant also planned to send notifications among targets of state-sponsored attacks. Over $10 million, along with the monetary damages they earned as part of the lawsuit, will be capitalised to gather information and combat state-sponsored attacks.
A “threat notification” will be displayed once the affected Apple users of the attack have signed into their Apple ID accounts, together with an email and an iMessage warning sent to the email addresses and contact numbers connected to their Apple IDs.
According to one of Apple’s software engineers, the NSO Group and all other state-sponsored threat actors have not been held justly accountable for their damages with their million dollars worth of sophisticated surveillance tools. Despite Apple being one of the most secured tech firms worldwide, private spyware companies such as the NSO Group are becoming an alarming threat.
The Pegasus spyware, the tool against which the tech giant was attacked, is engineered to be an aggressive military-grade spyware tool capable of stealing sensitive information from its victims.
Apple was eager to sue the Pegasus spyware firm after it leveraged the ‘FORCEDENTRY’ zero-day exploit against iMessage to sidestep iOS security defences and target nine Bahraini advocates.
The threat actors made more than a hundred fake Apple IDs, aiming to send malicious messages to the victims. In this way, the NSO Group or its affiliates could distribute the Pegasus spyware within the victims’ devices without knowing it.
Nonetheless, a spokesperson from the NSO Group said they are dismayed about the US government’s sanctions being imposed on them, including being listed as one of the companies that pose threats against the US. They also added that their technologies have contributed to supporting the country’s national security interests against terrorism; hence they are pushing for the reversal of the decision.
In a tweet, Apple’s security engineer said it is objectionable to weaponise state-sponsored firms to attack innocent consumers; thus, the lawsuit intends to send that powerful message.