NSO spy software was allegedly used to target the iPhone of a U.S. State Department official

On Friday, shed new light on the recent decision by the Biden administration to sanction Pegasus spy programmer NSO Group. Citing four people who are “familiar with this issue”, the publication reports that an unknown attacker used the company’s software to infect iPhones belonging to at least nine US State Department officials.

The attacks allegedly targeted federal officials who were either stationed in Uganda or whose job involved that East African country. Reuters he could not identify who was behind the hacks. The State Department also declined to comment on the report. The NSO says it will investigate the case.

“If our investigation shows that these actions really happened with the tools of the NSO, such a user will be permanently suspended and legal actions will be initiated,” a company spokesman said. Reuters. The NSO said it would also “cooperate with all relevant state bodies and present the complete information we will have”.

The NSO says its spyware cannot work on devices with US numbers starting with +1 for the country. But in the case of State Department officials deployed in Uganda, they allegedly used an iPhone with local phone numbers. They were also hacked before Apple, which addressed the vulnerability of CoreGraphics that the NSO used to allow its spyware to infect the iPhone without the victim even having to. On November 23, Apple sued the NSO to “hold him accountable” for his actions.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Biden administration official said Reuters The threat to American officials is one of the reasons why the White House is breaking the NSO and working with allies and other threats to cyber security. On November 3, the Ministry of Trade added the company to its list of entities, preventing American companies from doing business with that company. At the time, the company told Engadget it was “shocked” by the decision and claimed its tools had helped the US “prevent terrorism and crime”.

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