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Apple sues NSO Group for attacking iPhone with Pegasus spyware

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Apple is now following WhatsApp and its parent company Meta (formerly Facebook) to sue Pegasus spyware maker NSO Group. In addition to promising new information about how NSO Group infected the target iPhone through a zero-click exploit that researchers later named Forced Entry, Apple has announced that NSO Group will use Apple’s software, services, or devices. He states that he is seeking a permanent injunction to ban.

Apple: NSO agrees to iCloud Terms of Service

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, did not mention sideloading this time, but in a statement, state-sponsored stakeholders such as NSO Group were highly monitored without effective accountability. He says he spends millions of dollars on technology. We need to change that … Apple devices are the safest consumer hardware on the market, but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware are even more dangerous. Apple and WhatsApp, like last year, submitted a brief document in court supporting the Facebook proceedings by tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, on their own push against NSO Group.

According to an Apple press release, Pegasus spyware is designed to give government remote access to phone microphones, cameras, and other data on both iPhone and Android. According to a report issued earlier this year by the Pegasus Project and the Journalism Coalition called Apple’s Complaints, it is also designed to infect phones without requiring user action and leaving no trace.

Apple also uses spyware against journalists, activists, and politicians, even though NSO claims that government clients are prohibited from using spyware against these types of targets. It cites a report that it was done. It’s understandable why Apple stays with your iPhone company, what’s happening on your iPhone, and why Apple gets angry with the devices and services used to carry out what it calls human rights abuses.

Proceedings are a stake in Apple

Heather Glenier, senior director of Apple’s commercial proceedings, said in a statement to the New York Times that the proceedings would give a clear signal that the company would not allow users to suffer this type of abuse. It states that it is intended. Part of Apple’s discussion in the complaint (PDF) is that NSO violated Apple’s Terms of Service because the group created over 100 Apple IDs to help send data to the target.

The court has created over 100 Apple IDs to carry out the attack, based on information and beliefs, in the Apple iCloud Terms of Service (iCloud Terms of Service), which includes compulsory and enforceable forum selection and exclusivity. I also agree that I have personal jurisdiction over the defendant.A jurisdiction clause that constitutes an explicit consent to the jurisdiction of this court

In Apple’s complaint, using the created Apple ID to analyze how the attack worked, NSO used iMessage, which was maliciously created to turn off iPhone logging (iPhone). Send data to the target (after determining that you are using it). This will allow NSO to secretly install Pegasus spyware and control what was being collected over the phone. According to Apple, the specific vulnerability used by NSO has been patched in iOS 14.8, please see here for more information. In summary, NSO was sending a file that exploited a bug in how iMessage renders GIFs and PDFs.

Apple said in a press release that thanks to the improved security of iOS 15, there is no evidence of a successful remote attack on devices running iOS 15 or later versions. When the Pegasus Project released its report in July, Amnesty International said the latest version of iOS (then iOS 14.6) was vulnerable to attack.

See the explainer for more information on reports made on Pegasus, their features, and their potential targets.

In addition to the proceedings against the NSO, Apple says it will support organizations seeking research and advocacy for cyber surveillance with both financial and technical resources. The company promises to distribute $ 10 million (and legal damages) to groups working on countersurveillance and promise to provide Citizen Labs with free technology, threat intelligence, and engineering assistance in a press release. I am. He was involved in the Pegasus Project and helped Apple discover and patch NSO abuse. Apple also says it will do the same for other organizations as needed.

NSO was recently added to the US Entity List. This limits the way US companies sell or provide their technology to companies. According to a report from the MIT Technology Review, sanctions are having a serious negative impact on both the morale of NSO Group employees and the business capabilities of the company. According to the report, the company needs to ask the U.S. government for permission to buy items such as laptops with Windows and iPhone, and the government’s default decision is to reject those requests. I am saying.

Updated at 3:36 pm ET, November 23: Added context for sanctions on NSOs and suspected misuse of Pegasus.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/23/22798917/apple-nso-group-spyware-pegasus-cybersecurity-research

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