Technology bigwigs Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Dell, Cisco have joined forces to wage a legal battle against an Israeli cyber-surveillance organisation called NSO. They, collectively, filed an amicus brief in the Federal Court warning that NSO was "powerful, and dangerous," according to Reuters.
The brief, that opens up a new front in the lawsuit filed by Facebook last year against the Israeli hacking organisation after it discovered that NSO had exploited a bug in Whatsapp, that's owned by Facebook, and used it to spy on over 140,000 people all over the world.
According to Reuters, NSO denied the claims that were made by Facebook last year and, instead, argued that it should get "sovereign immunity" (a legal doctrine that protects foreign governments from lawsuits) because it sells spy agencies and the police digital break-in devices and tools. NSO didn't win that argument and went on to appeal the ruling.
NSO recently came under fire by the Al Jazeera after the media network revealed that that about 36 of its journalists were hacked using advanced spyware from Israel, and it is believed that the attacks were probably linked to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to a report published last week by the Univerity of Toronto's Citizen Lab's researchers, which is a cybersecurity watchdog, as reported by Al Jazeera.
The report called the "The Great iPwnJournalists Hacked with Suspected NSO Group iMessage ‘Zero-Click’ Exploit" was released on 20 December 2020, and has detailed how the Israeli Company NSO Group's Pegasus spyware was used to infect and attack mobile phones of 36 Al Jazeera journalists, anchors, executives and producers.
The tech giants argue that if such tools as those sold by NSO reach the wrong hands, they could wreak havoc, even though NSO persistently argues that the tools and devices it sells are "used to fight crime." (Reuters)
Lets, wait and watch to see what happens next.
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