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Attackers infected iPhones of American diplomats with NSO Group spyware

Apple has notified several U.S. State Department officials that their devices are infected with a spyware that was developed by Israel’s NSO Group, as Reuters and The Washington Post reported.

According to media reports, which cite their own sources, the infection affected iPhone 9 – 11 of the employees of the US Embassy stationed in Uganda. Below you can see what the warnings received by the victims looked like.

Reuters reports that all devices were registered with overseas numbers, but that they were clearly US government-owned, as all of the victims were using Apple IDs associated with email addresses ending in state.gov.

Representatives of the NSO Group assure that after the publication of the media, they immediately blocked the access of the offending client to their platform and are now studying the incident.

In addition to an independent investigation, NSO will cooperate with any relevant government agency and provide full information that we have. Let us explain that the installation of our software by the customer takes place by phone numbers. As previously reported, NSO products are prohibited from working with US (+1) numbers. But after selling the software to a licensed customer, NSO has no way of knowing who the targets are, so we did not and could not have known about the case.company officials told Reuters.

Let me remind you that last month Apple filed a lawsuit against the NSO Group, which is behind the development of the famous spy platform Pegasus, capable of compromising even the most secure and modern iPhones.

The Defendants are renowned hackers, the amoral mercenaries of the 21st century, who have created sophisticated cyber surveillance mechanisms that allow both routine and extraordinary abuses. They design, develop, sell, deliver, deploy, operate, and maintain aggressive, destructive and malicious spyware products and services that have been used to attack and harm Apple users, Apple products and Apple. For their own commercial gain, they allow their customers to abuse these products and services by attacking individuals, including government officials, journalists, businessmen, activists, academics and even US citizens.says Apple.

Let me remind you that we also reported that Facebook sues NSO Group spyware maker due to exploitation of WhatsApp vulnerability.

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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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