N.S.O. Group may have betrayed its spyware customers

Apple is suing NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells spyware to governments. NSO Group began to make headlines after an executive spoke about running a fleet of its products in a story by The Intercept last year. The AP obtained a copy of a lawsuit NSO Group filed in Israel against Apple (and a similar one against Apple’s Israeli subsidiary) and the AP reported on the lawsuit on Saturday. “Apple has asked for, and received, a temporary injunction against the company,” the AP wrote. “It says the suit is for damages incurred after Apple removed its products from the company’s network because they used spyware from NSO.”

According to the AP, NSO’s spyware runs on a chip that appears to be based on the A11 Bionic chip featured in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. It allegedly stays hidden in a “privacy wall” to prevent unauthorized users from modifying the software. While the AP said it was not clear whether the chip in question was the same one in the iPhone XS, it appeared in five of Apple’s 11 products. The leak of the chip presumably came from the Israeli bureau of intelligence service Shin Bet, which was a major customer of NSO.

Samsung recently came under fire for selling spyware that could be used against its own customers, and it eventually changed the function of its chips after announcing a lawsuit against the company, Axios reported. Amazon, on the other hand, maintained it was not involved in NSO’s spyware. It’s unclear whether either company has officially changed the function of their chip.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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