Apple and the FBI are questioned about NSO’s Pegasus spyware

Apple and the FBI are in the crosshairs of two US lawmakers over Pegasus, NSO Group’s spyware. They want to get information about him.

iPhone 13 Pro Blue Back Grip

Letters to Apple and FBI related to Pegasus

The letters were signed by Jim Jordan, senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Mike Johnson, senior member of the Civil Rights Subcommittee. They were sent after the New York Times reported earlier this year that the FBI had acquired surveillance technology from NSO Group.

“Committee examines the FBI’s acquisition, testing, and use of NSO’s spyware, as well as the potential civil liberties implications of using Pegasus or Phantom against U.S. persons,” says the letter to Apple, according to CNBC. Lawmakers also want Tim Cook to provide details on Apple’s ability to detect iPhones targeted by NSO Group’s tools. They also want Apple to provide the number of attacks detected using these tools, as well as when and where they took place. She also asks Apple for a “staff briefing” Company communications with government agencies regarding spyware.

In their letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the two lawmakers said the U.S. federal police’s acquisition of NSO’s spyware was “deeply troubling and posed significant risks to the civil liberties of American people”. They also demand that the FBI turn over to them communications between the agency and the NSO Group or its affiliates regarding the agency’s purchase, testing, or use of Pegasus.

Apple has already blocked (totally?) Pegasus

Pegasus has enabled spying on iOS iPhones and Android smartphones in order to read messages, even within encrypted applications. The real problem is that the spying was able to take place without any particular user interaction. Generally, it must fall into the trap by opening a trapped link. But that was not the case here.

Apple has already plugged a loophole used by Pegasus with an iOS update. But nothing says that NSO Group does not have other faults in stock. In addition, Apple filed a lawsuit against NSO Group last December.

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