NSO Group spyware used to hack US government officials: source AP


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File On August 24, 2021, the logo hung on the wall of a branch of the Israeli group NSO near the southern town of Sapil. The phones of 11 US State Department employees were hacked using technology from the most notorious Israeli group NSO. Hacker companies around the world said a person familiar with the matter on Friday (December 3rd). (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, file) File In January, a logo hung on the wall of a branch of the Israeli company NSO Group near the town of Sapil in southern Israel. December 3, 2021. The phones of 11 US State Department employees were hacked using technology from the Israeli group NSO, the world’s most notorious hacker recruiting company, said a person familiar with the matter. Friday December 3. (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, File)
Washington (AP) – Spyware from Israel’s NSO group, the world’s best-known hacker transfer company, hacked the phones of 11 US State Department employees and caused problems on Friday, one person said close.
All staff are in Uganda, said those who are not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, including some foreign service staff. Some of the local Ugandan department employees appeared to be among the 11 hacked, he said. The
The hacking attack is the first known case of use of NSO Group’s Pegasus-branded spyware against U.S. government officials.
It was not known which natural or legal person used NSO technology to hack the account or what information was requested. File On August 24, 2021, the logo hung on the wall of a branch of the Israeli company NSO Group near the town of Sapil in southern Israel. The phones of 11 U.S. State Department employees were hacked using technology from Israel’s NSO group, the world’s most notorious hacking company, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday (December 3rd). On August 24, 2021, the logo hung on the wall of a branch of the Israeli group NSO near the town of Sapil in southern Israel. The phones of the 11 employees of the US State Department were the most extensively equipped with the technology of the Israeli group NSO. On Friday, January 1, someone familiar with the matter said he hacked into the infamous Hacker to hire him. 3. (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner, file)
WASHINGTON (AP) – The world’s most notorious potential hacker case that the phones of 11 US State Department employees were hacked by Israeli spyware from the NSO Group. Said Friday.
All staff are in Uganda, said those who are not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, including some foreign service staff. Some of the local Ugandan department employees appeared to be among the 11 hacked, he said. The
The hacking attack is the first known case of use of NSO Group’s Pegasus-branded spyware against U.S. government officials.
It was not clear which individual or organization used NSO technology to hack the account or what information was requested. “We were deeply concerned that commercial spyware, such as software from NSO Group, poses a serious risk to the defense and security of American personnel,” White House spokesman Jen said on Friday. Psaki, during a briefing.
Citizen Lab lead investigator, University of Toronto public investigator John Scott-Railton, has been tracking Pegasus infection for many years and has called the discovery a major wake-up call for the US government for diplomatic security. ..
“For years, I have seen diplomats from all over the world in the target,” he said. “And it looks like the message had to be communicated to the US government in this very direct and unfortunate manner. There is no rush with the American phone in the diplomat’s pocket.
Reuters Hacking News, first reported, banned the company from using U.S. technology a month after the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted the NSO group. .. And Apple sued NSO Group last week, effectively blocking piracy of all iPhones and other Apple products, calling the Israeli company a “moral mercenary of the 21st century.”
State Department personnel hacked the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.
NSO Group said in a statement after being asked over the Uganda phone on Thursday that it was “immediately shutting down all customers who may be involved in this incident,” but who are the customers. I did not reveal it. According to the company, the company’s spy technology has prevented the hacking of US-based phones and is only sold to licensed customers.
She added that if the allegations were true, “these are gross violations” of the terms of the agreement and NSO Group “is taking legal action against these customers.” When the
proceedings have been announced, Apple has sent worldwide notifications to people whose iPhones have been hacked to Pegasus in countries ranging from El Salvador to Poland. Among them were the target staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Apple declined to comment on Friday’s hack in Uganda. The
Pegasus is sold to the government solely for the purpose of fighting terrorists and criminals and is abused by customers of NSO to spy on human rights activists, journalists and politicians from Saudi Arabia to Mexico. Saudi journalist murdered at his country’s consulate in Istanbul. The
The NSO group has been widely accused of allowing such targeting, and listing on the Commerce Department’s “business list” last month was the first time a company had been listed outside of China for violations. human rights. was. Former Chief Trade Officer of the Akin Gamp and Obama administrations. 4,444 analysts wonder if NSO Group can survive economically in such situations. Last week, Moody’s downgraded NSO Group’s financial outlook negatively, saying there was a risk that more than $ 300 million in loans would default due to “high levels of uncertainty” over its ability to sell. new licenses. .. The private NSO group has approximately 750 employees and 60 customers in more than 35 countries 4,444.

The impact on companies blacklisted by the Commerce Department, about half of which are Chinese, is often far broader than the ban on the use of American technology. According to Wolff, many companies have completely abandoned their transactions “to eliminate the risk of accidental breaches” and are incurring the legal fees to analyze if this is possible. ..
The Associated Press asked NSO Group ahead of Friday’s news if they could survive on the entity list. He did not respond directly, but said he was working “in the right direction to overturn the Commerce Department decision.”
The company again claimed that it managed hacks remotely and did not operate Pegasus command and control systems that did not have access to data collected from customers. Cyber ​​security researchers who closely follow NSO’s spyware have denied this claim. NSO’s government customers were unable to operate their infrastructure online, and investigations confirmed that they could centrally manage post-infection operations.
Apple’s lawsuits add even more weight to Big Tech’s legal attacks on NSO Group. Facebook filed a complaint in 2019 for hacking the popular WhatsApp encrypted messaging app. Last month, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that proceedings could continue and dismissed the ONS ‘request to dismiss it because it was a “sovereign body.”

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