Israeli spyware developer Pegasus has said in recent hours that it is investigating reports that this technology was used to attack the iPhones of some US diplomats in Africa.
Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone, has started alerting users whose phones have been hacked by spyware, developed by NSO Group.
This program has been at the center of controversy this year after several reports claimed it was used to spy on activists, journalists and politicians.
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“In addition to the independent investigation, NSO will cooperate with any relevant government authority and will provide full information to us,” The company announced in a statement.
NSO Group has warned that it has not confirmed the use of its tools, but has chosen to “Revoke the relevant customers’ access to the system” Because of the seriousness of the accusations reported by media outlets such as Reuters and The Washington Post.
The Washington Post reports that Apple alerted 11 US diplomats that their iPhones had been hacked in recent months., citing people familiar with the case, who confirmed that the attacks focused on officials active in Uganda and East Africa.
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Apple filed a lawsuit against the company last month to prevent NSO from using the silicon giant’s services. the valley Thus preventing its use against more than 1,000 million iPhones in circulation. Four sources close to the matter reported that nine US diplomats were attacked.
Apple declined to comment on these reports.
Just weeks before Apple’s lawsuit, US authorities blacklisted NSO for Accusations that the Israeli company “allowed foreign governments to carry out cross-border repression.”
Smartphones infected with the Pegasus device allow the hacker to read the victim’s messages, look at their photos, track their location, and even turn on their camera without their knowledge.
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Concern about Pegasus grew even more after Apple revealed in September that it had fixed a flaw. It allowed spyware to infect devices without users having to click on a malicious link or message.
The so-called “zero-click” attack can silently damage the target device, and it has been identified by researchers from Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity watchdog in Canada.