Apple on Tuesday sued the Israeli firm NSO Group, which sells software to government agencies and law enforcement that enables them to hack iPhones and read the data on them, including messages and other communications, CNBC reported.
Earlier this year, Amnesty International said it discovered recent-model iPhones belonging to journalists and human rights lawyers that had been infected with NSO Group malware called Pegasus.
Apple is seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using Apple software, services, or devices. It’s also seeking damages over $75,000, according to the CNBC report.
NSO Group software permits “attacks, including from sovereign governments that pay hundreds of millions of dollars to target and attack a tiny fraction of users with information of particular interest to NSO’s customers,” Apple said in the lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, saying that it is not “ordinary consumer malware.”
Apple also said on Tuesday it has patched the flaws that enabled the NSO Group software to access private data on iPhones using “zero-click” attacks where the malware is delivered through a text message and leaves little trace of infection.
Apple said the attacks were only targeted at a small number of customers, and said on Tuesday it will inform iPhone users that may have been targeted by Pegasus malware.
The US Commerce Department blacklisted NSO Group earlier this month, prohibiting it from using American technology in its operations.