Apple Inc, the
technology giant, has filed a lawsuit against the Israel-based NSO Group that
owns and operates the Pegasus spyware of allegedly surveilling upon Apple
device users in the United States. Apple further said that it plans to ban NSO from
using the company’s software, services or devices to prevent “further abuse”.

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The NSO Group’s Pegasus
spyware has come under severe criticism for surveilling upon civilians,
including human rights workers and journalists. Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms
Inc, Google-owner Alphabet Inc have also slammed NSO.

The NSO Group is
accused of circumventing device software in a bid to compromise their security
and selling the circumvention to governments for the purposes of surveillance. NSO
claims that its spyware is only sold to governments and law enforcement
agencies and saves “thousands of lives”.

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“Pedophiles and terrorists
can freely operate in technological safe-havens and we provide governments the
lawful tools to fight it. NSO Group will continue to advocate for the truth,”
the company said in a statement.

Apple’s lawsuit,
filed in US District Court for Northern District of California, alleges that
NSO’s tools were used in “concerted efforts in 2021 to target and attack Apple
customers.” Further, the suit claims that citizens of the United States have
been surveilled upon by NSO’s spyware on mobile devices that can and do cross
international borders.

Apple has accused
NSO Group of creating over 100 Apple ID user credentials in a bid to carry out
attacks. The tech giant clarified that while Apple’s servers could not be
hacked, the NSO Group manipulated and misused the servers to deliver attacks on
Apple users.

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Apple has also
accused the NSO Group of providing consulting services for the attacks. Another
allegation by Apple is that the NSO Group has forced the tech giant on a
continuous ‘arms race’. “Even as Apple develops solutions and enhances the
security of its devices, defendants are constantly updating their malware and
exploits to overcome Apple’s own security upgrades,” said the tech giant.