Apple sues Israeli spyware company NSO Group

Apple is suing an Israeli cyber firm and its parent company for allegedly targeting its users with spyware.

On Tuesday, the iPhone maker said it had filed a lawsuit against NSO Group and its parent company, OSY Technologies.

The Israeli company's pegasus software infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones.

It's allegedly been used to target journalists, human rights activists, and politicians.

In its complaint, Apple said NSO's tools had been used in 2021 to:

"target and attack Apple customers" and that "U.S. citizens have been surveilled by NSO’s spyware on mobile devices that can and do cross international borders."

Apple alleged that NSO Group created more than 100 fake Apple ID user credentials to carry out its attacks.

It said that its servers were not hacked, but that NSO misused and manipulated them to deliver the attacks on Apple users.

Apple is seeking to also ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or devices.

NSO has always said its software is intended to be used by governments and law enforcement against criminals and terrorists.

In a statement, it added that "thousands of lives" had been saved through the use of its tools.

Apple plans to donate $10 million, as well as any damages recovered in the lawsuit, to cyber surveillance research groups.

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