Numerous reporters, human rights defenders, and high-ranking officials across the world are increasingly becoming the targets of the notorious NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware program, which can infiltrate even some of the most secure servers and commercial software programs without the need for even a click. Once the spyware is on a person’s phone, the hackers can access the user’s photos, text messages, videos, contacts, and other files. The hackers can also utilize the phone’s camera and microphone to record conversations.
Can Apple beat NGO Group?
Apple Inc. filed suit last week against the spyware’s creators, NSO Group Technologies and Q Cyber Technologies, on grounds related to the damage allegedly caused by the malicious program on Apple devices. Pegasus was developed by the Israel-based NSO Group, which was formed in 2010, is a subsidiary of Q Cyber, and was previously valued at $1 billion. For years, much of NSO’s operations were shrouded in secrecy. However, recent reports and lawsuits have begun to shed light upon its operations. Now, Apple’s lawsuit may be the best opportunity to put Pegasus to pasture for good.
On Oct. 29, 2019, WhatsApp filed the first notable American claim against NSO and Q Cyber, alleging: 1) violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; 2) violation of the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act; 3) breach of contract; and 4) trespass to chattels, which in this context, refers to illegally accessing Apple’s computer system. This case remains pending a decision on the merits from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California…
If history is any guide, [Apple’s] case could continue for years with lawyers using motions to delay its outcome and punish one another for any misstep. While WhatsApp’s case is first in time and also appears promising, the strength of Apple’s complaint leads me to believe that it is more likely to prevail on the merits independent of the outcome of the WhatsApp case.
MacDailyNews Take: For the sake of freedom and security, let’s all hope that Apple prevails in their case against NSO Group!
Interns, tap that keg! Prost, everyone!
(UPDATE: 6:59pm ET: Fixed typo. Thanks, Ali!)
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