HomeLatest UpdatesU.S. Judge ordered NSO Group to hand over the Pegasus spyware code...

U.S. Judge ordered NSO Group to hand over the Pegasus spyware code to WhatsApp


U.S. Judge ordered NSO Group to hand over the Pegasus spyware code to WhatsApp

Pierluigi Paganini
March 03, 2024

A U.S. Court ordered surveillance firm NSO Group to hand over the source code for its Pegasus spyware and other products to Meta.

Meta won the litigation against the Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group, a U.S. Judge ordered the surveillance firm to hand over the source code for its Pegasus spyware and other products to the social network giant.

NSO Group has been requested to provide details regarding the complete functionality of the pertinent spyware, covering the period one year before the alleged attack through one year after the alleged attack (i.e., from April 29, 2018, to May 10, 2020).

In October 2019, WhatsApp sued the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group accusing it of carrying out malicious attacks against its users.

The legal action alleges that the Israeli surveillance firm tried to compromise approximately 1,400 individuals through WhatsApp hacking attempts.

In May 2019, Facebook patched a critical zero-day vulnerability in WhatsApp, tracked as CVE-2019-3568, that has been exploited to remotely install spyware on phones by calling the targeted device.

At the time, The Financial Times reported that the WhatsApp zero-day was exploited by threat actors to deliver the spyware developed by surveillance firm NSO Group.

The surveillance software developed by NSO Group was used by government organizations worldwide to spy on human rights groups, activists, journalists, lawyers, and dissidents. Security experts have detected and analyzed some of the tools in its arsenal, such as the popular Pegasus spyware (for iOS) and Chrysaor (for Android). 

“The recent court ruling is an important milestone in our long-running goal of protecting WhatsApp users against unlawful attacks. Spyware companies and other malicious actors need to understand they can be caught and will not be able to ignore the law,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told The Guardian.

The Judge, however, decided that NSO Group would not be forced to reveal the names of its clients or information about its server architecture.

“While the court’s decision is a positive development, it is disappointing that NSO Group will be allowed to continue keeping the identity of its clients, who are responsible for this unlawful targeting, secret,” said Donncha Ó Cearbhaill, head of the Security Lab at Amnesty International.

In September 2018, a report published by Citizen Lab revealed that the NSO Pegasus spyware was used against targets across 45 countries worldwide.

In November 2019, Snowden warned of abuse of surveillance software that also had a role in the murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In October 2019, NSO Group ‘s surveillance spyware made the headlines again, this time the malware was used to spy on 2 rights activists in Morocco according to Amnesty International.

In September 2018, a report published by Citizen Lab revealed that the NSO Pegasus spyware was used against targets across 45 countries worldwide.

In November 2019, Snowden warned of abuse of surveillance software that also had a role in the murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In October 2019, NSO Group‘s surveillance spyware made the headlines again, this time the malware was used to spy on 2 rights activists in Morocco according to Amnesty International.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, NSO GROUP)







Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular

Recent Comments