Pegasus spyware is nothing new to you if you are tech-savvy. As you know, the spyware named Pegasus has devastated the security of infinite devices and their users. An Israeli company called NSO Group is primarily responsible for producing and distributing spyware all across the globe. Additionally, the entire spyware conspiracy is backed by a few selected governments to keep track of the activities of journalists, activists, dissidents, and so on.
The twist and turn came up when Apple sued the NSO Group to target Apple users and keep an eye on the surveillance. Additionally, the lawsuit presented by Apple also mentions a new piece of information on how Pegasus is hitting victims anonymously.
To ensure that NSO Group can’t harm innocent people and their safety anymore, Apple might bring a permanent injunction to suspend NSO Group forever. Let’s get into the details.
What does NSO Group do with Pegasus?
NSO Group is a legitimate company that works on spyware and other critical technologies. According to iPhone repair service experts, NSO Group generates state-sponsored and sophisticated surveillance technology along with its spyware nature. The attack of such spyware gets conducted through a few people or users.
In addition to this, the attack can occur irrespective of the type of platform. For example, it can be your Android or iOS devices. As per the worldwide surveys and statistics, this kind of spyware can be used to track down the activities of journalists, academics, government officials, dissidents, and activists.
So, NSO Group is a state-sponsored actor, and they are making use of millions and millions of dollars on creating spyware. Thus, they are exploiting the security margins of victims. And, Apple devices are known for their extreme security standards. But, the fact is that numerous Apple devices have fallen prey to Pegasus. Craig Federghi quotes, ‘That needs to change’.
Apple has been producing gadgets not only with foolproof software basics but also with secure consumer hardware. However, this kind of interference is shifting cybersecurity factors. As a consequence, there’s no guarantee that your data is safe even if you are using the latest iPhone with the latest iOS version.
Though only a handful of users have been affected by Pegasus, Apple is not taking it lightly. Apple has filed a lawsuit against NSO Group and its associated parent company. Apple has confirmed that it is working on measures that can elevate the security of users and their devices.
What Steps did Apple Take?
Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group on 23 November 2021. The effort was to ban the company from interfering with services and products provided by Apple. The court papers on behalf of Apple have a mention of NSO Group as ‘notorious hackers’ along with ‘amoral 21st-century mercenaries’. NSO Group has been alleged to produce and sell spyware and target users.
Apple also added that NSO Group has been active in more than 50 countries to make a profit. Such spyware is so sophisticated and insidious that it’s almost impossible to detect the presence of Pegasus using any conventional method.
What does Pegasus do? NSO Group has designed the spyware to intercept mobile devices and steal information from them. They can be – call details, messages, private details, locations, and more. And, if Pegasus has arrived on your smartphone, then there are very few chances that you can detect them easily.
On the other hand, FORCEDENTRY is the unique way hackers can install spyware on any victim’s device. This zero-click strategy requires no action or input on behalf of the smartphone user. Sounds terrible, right? That’s what and how Pegasus can infiltrate your smart devices.
Has Apple found any cure to this FORCEDENTRY mechanism? As an iPhone user, you can be proud of Apple’s initiative. Yes, Apple has taken proper actions to patch this vulnerable issue to the security of iPhones. Therefore, iPhone users can exhale a sigh of relief as there’s no chance with the FORCEDENTRY attack.
It’s not the end of tasks on behalf of Apple. This tech giant has leapt and introduced security protocols. These security protocols will help users to detect whether any kind of spyware has compromised their security means.
NSO Group and other clients allow different nations to use a high amount of resources for conducting cyber attacks. They can access Android, iOs devices along with camera and microphone devices. Attackers created Apple IDs to make FORCEDENTRY valid. Then, they sent malware to one of the victims’ devices. This will make the installation fruitful.
However, researchers have come across proof that iPhones are 15 times more powerful than Android devices when it comes to restricting malicious attacks. iOS 15 comes with the potential to make significant changes to strengthen security perks. Even when NSO Group continues to evolve the spyware, Apple is defending every kind of attack.
Finally, Apple will contribute 10 million dollars to any organisations that pursue cyber-surveillance research, along with the damages deriving from the lawsuit.
What did the NSO Group Claim?
NSO Group is something different from conventional hackers. It has government clients, or it is so-called ‘state-sponsored’. Additionally, the organisation claims that it works with agencies that have human rights records.
NSO Group has defended itself by saying that it has saved thousands of lives across the globe. And, the credit goes to the spyware, Pegasus. Whether it is about terrorists or Pedophiles, governments can use the right tool and technology to prevent them. The organisation thinks that it’s the only way to take the right step when there’s no other choice. And, NSO Group will advocate for this fact as Apple has filed a lawsuit against the group.
But, this time, Apple decided to sue the company and did it. Apple has never compromised with the security norms that can harm its customers. In addition to this, Apple will be on the safe side as they are not attacking definite nations or governments. Rather, Apple is blaming a private company for the production and disbursement of the spyware, Pegasus.
NSO Company has allegedly created over 100 fake Apple IDs to implement the attacks. Apple has claimed that NSO Group has misused the technology and manipulated servers to deliver attacks on Apple devices.
However, NSO Group defended itself as a foreign agent. In addition to this, they used a term called ‘foreign sovereign immunity’ to protect its role from legal liability. But, the court didn’t accept it.
Is it the First Time that Apple has done this?
No, Apple took the same initiative back in 2018 against Whatsapp. When it comes to Apple, it makes sure that there’s nothing lurking inside the security norms. Currently, there are almost 1.65 billion iPhones active on the globe. So, it’s the prime responsibility of Apple to ensure that users don’t have to compromise with anything. Apple is synonymous with the highest security, and it can’t withstand the security vulnerabilities. There’s no further question why Apple did this, and it will continue its legacy if anything similar happens.