By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber firm NSO Group and its parent company OSY Technologies for alleged surveillance and targeting of U.S. Apple users with its Pegasus spyware.
The iPhone maker said it is also seeking to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or devices to prevent further abuse.
Apple is the latest in a string of companies and governments to come after NSO, which has said it only sells its products to law enforcement and intelligence agencies and takes steps to curb abuse. Earlier this month, U.S. officials placed the company on a trade blacklist. NSO has also faced either legal action or criticism from Microsoft Corp , Meta Platforms Inc , Alphabet Inc and Cisco Systems Inc .
NSO is allegedly involved in circumventing security for products made by these companies and selling that circumvention in the form of hacking tools to foreign governments.
In its complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple said NSO's tools were used in "concerted efforts 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 said that NSO group created more than 100 fake Apple ID user credentials to carry out its attacks.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Chris Bing in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Porter)
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