In an official press release, Apple announced that it had filed a lawsuit against NSO Group, an Israeli developer of state-sponsored Pegasus spyware, which was used to target a small number of Apple users worldwide and perform illegal surveillance.
With this lawsuit, Apple requires the NSO Group to be permanently banned from using Apple software, devices, or services. At the same time, the Cupertino company accuses NSO Group of violating US federal and state law.
According to Apple, the spyware was illegally installed on users' devices by NSO Group, without users knowing, to track their activities and gain access to users' cameras, messages, microphones, photos, and other sensitive data.
This summer, 17 authoritative media outlets around the world released a joint investigation into how the authorities of various countries have been using Pegasus to spy on journalists, dissidents, activists, academics, and government officials. The investigation revealed that the Pegasus spyware had been supplied to the military, law enforcement agencies, and intelligence agencies since 2016.
The Cupertino company said they had fixed the vulnerability that allowed NSO Group to hack into users' iPhones to gain access to their personal data.
Apple has already notified users who have been victims of the ForcedEntry attack using Pegasus and emphasized that the company will continue to do so if any spyware-related activity is detected.
Apple also announced a $10 million contribution to support cyber surveillance researches and specialists.