Researchers discovered the presence of Pegasus on the iPhone of a Jordanian journalist. The hack compromised the contents of his phone and brought the NSO group into the spotlight, yet again. Keep in mind that Apple sued NSO group for targeting iPhone users around that timeframe. It is downright insulting for Apple because the NSO group’s software targeted an iPhone even after that.
How harmful is Pegasus on iPhone?
Pegasus is spyware developed by NSO Group, a software firm in Israel. It is infamous for developing software solutions that are privacy-invasive. Its clientele is mostly governments that practice autocracy and want to keep tabs on people. The targets are usually people who oppose and criticize these governments and their decisions.
Researchers found traces of Pegasus On iPhone on several journalists’ phones in Jordan. Suhair Jaradat, a reputed and acclaimed journalist, also fell prey to the Pegasus attack.
Why did Apple sue the NSO group?
Apple claims its products to be more privacy-focused than its competitors. Even the ad campaign highlights that fact. Moreover, stern restrictions like preventing sideloading of apps are in place. Despite all that, Pegasus on iPhone is able to penetrate its security. Thus, it maligns the image of the iPhone as the most private and secure of all devices.
Apple filed a lawsuit against the NSO group last November and sought redressal for the problem of Pegasus On iPhone attacks. It even asked for monetary compensation for the attack but the actual amount is unknown. Pegasus attacks continued to happen after filing the injunction, too. The case is stuck in the loop and shows no significant signs of progress in court. But that doesn’t mean Pegasus users should be given a free hand for their transgressions.
NSO Group’s stance
NSO Group claimed that its malware was only for dire situations related to law enforcement investigations. It is very effective in tracking, apprehension, and even curtailment of crimes. Moreover, it deals only with governments and not at the company or individual level. But these assurances fall short of the implications of Pegasus on iPhones and other devices.
Governments now have a tool to brute force and invade the privacy of the users. What happened in Jordan is a tiny glimpse of the damage that it can cause. So, Apple moving against NSO in court is a move that will have a global impact. Meta also dragged the NSO group to court for its alleged involvement in hacking WhatsApp data.