Tech

NSO spyware used to hack US State Department phones

Apple has reportedly notified US State Department officials that an unknown cyber attacker has hacked an iPhone using a tool created by Israeli surveillance software company NSO Group.

Last month, Apple sued an Israeli company for misusing its services and products to place hacking tools on some users’ iPhones.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters Criminals reported using NSO Group to target at least nine employees working at the U.S. Department of State.Spyware over the last few months.

Two sources told the press that the targeted officials were either based in Uganda or working on country-related issues. Some Ugandan political leaders were also reportedly attacked by cyber espionage campaigns.

Victims notified by Apple could be identified as US Government employees through an email address ending in state.gov associated with their Apple ID. Sources say the device was compromised by the same zero-day graphics processing bug that Apple fixed in September this year.

NSO spokesman said Reuters The company is investigating the issue and has already closed access to the relevant customer’s tools and systems. A spokeswoman added that NSO Group is currently showing no sign that the tool was used to hack US officials.

“If the investigation reveals that these measures were actually taken with NSO’s tools, such customers will be permanently dismissed and legal action will be taken,” a spokesman said. We will work with relevant government authorities to provide complete information. ” I have. “

NSO spyware can not only capture photos, messages and other sensitive information from compromised devices, but also turn them into recording devices to monitor their surroundings.

The company’s Pegasus software is sold to governments such as Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Rwanda.

Privacy advocates have long warned NSO Group that it is not well-managed to limit the use of powerful cyber monitoring tools sold by its customers.

Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, which revealed how widespread the use of NSO Group’s spyware was earlier this year, was used by Pegasus to snoop on more than 1,000 journalists, rights activists and other celebrities from about 50 countries. It states that there is a possibility.

Last month, the U.S. government put NSO Group on the trade blacklist, and its software “allows foreign governments to implement cross-border crackdowns, an authoritarian government practice for dissidents, journalists and activists. I did. “

In a proceeding filed by Apple last month, NSO Group and its parent company, OSY Technologies, should be responsible for monitoring and targeting Apple users and ban the use of Apple’s devices, software or services to prevent further abuse and harm. Said that. To that user.

‘[The] The accused is a notorious hacker, a 21st-century mercenary who created an advanced cyber surveillance mechanism that leads to routine and terrible abuse, “Apple wrote in a complaint.

The iPhone maker has also revealed details about NSO Group’s FORCE DENTRY exploit. According to Apple, the attacker could use the exploit to install NSO’s Pegasus spyware on Apple devices. -Since then, you’ve patched the vulnerability.

The NSO denies these allegations and states that it only works with law enforcement, military and intelligence agencies in countries with good human rights records.

NSO spyware used to hack US State Department phones

Source link NSO spyware used to hack US State Department phones

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