Apple is suing Israeli spyware company NSO

San Francisco The US government put the Israeli software manufacturer NSO on the sanctions list at the beginning of November. Now the company has to answer to the US judiciary under private law because of the massive spying on iPhone users. Because iPhone manufacturer Apple is going to court.

As Apple announced on Tuesday morning (local time), the Cupertino group has filed a lawsuit against NSO in order to demand a “reparation” that has not been carried out. The Israeli company had used a vulnerability in the iPhone operating system iOS to install its espionage software Pegasus unnoticed. The gap has now been closed.

In the summer, an international consortium of journalists revealed that probably dozen of journalists, human rights activists, their families and entrepreneurs were being monitored by NSO customers in this way. Apple sees this as a violation of US law – and with the lawsuit also wants to ensure that NSO is fundamentally prohibited from using Apple products in the future.

“Government sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technology with no effective accountability. That has to change, “said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market – but private companies developing government-sponsored spy software have become even more dangerous.”

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NSO’s business is essentially developing surveillance technology and then selling it to state actors such as law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The company itself emphasizes that the mission serves exclusively to combat crime and terrorism. However, its customers also include authoritarian regimes from Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia, for example.

For the Israeli company, the lawsuit is a minor nuisance compared to the harsh sanctions the US government has imposed in response to the espionage scandal. Bloomberg reported on Monday that NSO is soon threatened with default on a loan of $ 500 million due to the loss of business. The major rating agencies have reduced the bonds to junk levels.

More: Pegasus spy software: Apple closes vulnerability on iPhone and iPad with software update

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