On Tuesday, Apple sued NSO Group and its parent company as the Israeli firm was accused by Apple of violating federal anti-hacking law by selling potent software which their clients have been using to spy on Apple customers.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, also alleges that Pegasus, which is one of the known NSO’s spyware and one more malware has caused many damages such as Apple monetary and property damages, and not just that, they also have violated the human rights of Apple user all these time.
“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,” Apple said in a statement.
NSO Group did not address the details of the lawsuit and instead said the firm’s technology saves lives, in a statement they made on Tuesday.
The firm said that the NSO Group provides “lawful tools” which are used by the government to fight against pedophiles and terrorists.
While the NSO Group has always claimed that their software is exclusively sold to approved customers for law enforcement and counterterrorism purposes, experts have long suspected that Pegasus has been used to monitor dissidents and human rights, advocates.
In September, researchers from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab claimed that an unnamed party was spying on a Saudi activist using Pegasus and weakness in Apple’s operating system.
The case is the latest setback for NSO Group, which has long been accused of conducting business with authoritarian governments by cybersecurity experts and human rights organisations. According to researchers, the firm’s simple malware is capable of eavesdropping on a phone’s communications and accessing other sensitive data on the device.
NSO Group was listed to the US Commerce Department’s so-called “entity list” this month, effectively prohibiting the company from purchasing software components from US vendors without a license. Commerce accused NSO Group and another Israeli firm, Candiru, of delivering spyware to foreign governments that “they used tools to maliciously target” journalists, embassy staff, and activists.