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NSO Group’s motion to dismiss Apple's case against it regarding Pegasus Spyware was denied by a U.S. District Judge

10.0z Patently Legal

Back in late November 2021, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple has filed a lawsuit against Israeli company NSO Group in an effort to curb the abuse of State-Sponsored Spyware." The report noted that "The complaint provides new information on how NSO Group infected victims’ devices with its Pegasus spyware. To prevent further abuse and harm to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices."

Yesterday, Apple achieved a key victory in its legal battle against spyware manufacturer NSO Group, thwarting the Israeli company's attempt to bring the case back to its home country.

Judge Donato of the United States rejected NSO's motion to dismiss all of Apple's accusations. He also rejected the group's request for Apple to move the lawsuit to Israel, ruling that the case would be tried in the United States.

The court also ruled that Apple had fully proven that NSO violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and California's Unfair Competition Law, violated its contract with Apple, and improperly profited by infringing the interests of Apple and its users.

In the lawsuit, Apple provided details of how NSO Group hacked into iPhone users' devices and used Pegasus spyware for surveillance. Apple asked the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting NSO Group from using any Apple software, services or equipment.

The order was signed yesterday, January 23, 2024. The court document noted that NSO’s motion to dismiss is denied in all respects. As next steps, NSO will answer Apple’s complaint by February 14, 2024.

An Apple spokesperson said that this victory means that Apple can continue to hold NSO accountable in U.S. courts and continue to protect Apple users, products, and infrastructure from hacker groups such as NSO.

NSO Group developed the infamous spyware "Pegasus" that was sold to multiple governments and used to hack into the devices of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists.

Since iOS 14.6, Apple has been patching vulnerabilities and addressing major Pegasus-related security threats through software updates. In addition to filing a lawsuit against NSO Group, Apple also plans to donate US$10 million to organizations engaged in network surveillance research.

10.0F2 - Patently Legal


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