NSO Group still using Pegasus spyware on iPhones despite lawsuit

iPhone X passcode screen
iPhone X passcode screen (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims NSO Group continued to target iPhone users with its spyware despite a lawsuit against the company.
  • Its Pegasus spyware was uncovered as the source of attacks and surveillance on numerous high-profile figures.
  • Apple sued for an injunction in November, but a new report says that the spyware was used as recently as December.

A new report says that NSO Group's Pegasus spyware was used on iPhones as recently as December 2021, just weeks after Apple filed a lawsuit trying to get an injunction that might end the practice.

TechCrunch reports:

Investigators say they have found evidence that a Jordanian journalist and human rights defender's iPhone was hacked with the Pegasus spyware just weeks after Apple sued the spyware's maker NSO Group to stop it from targeting Apple's customers.Award-winning journalist Suhair Jaradat's phone was hacked with the notorious spyware as recently as December 5, 2021, according to an analysis of her phone by Front Line Defenders and Citizen Lab that was shared with TechCrunch ahead of its publication.

As the report notes Apple has filed for an injunction seeking to ban NSO from using Apple's products and services in order to develop and deploy hacks against its customers.

The report says that the new filings indicate "several Jordanian" human rights defenders, lawyers, and journalists had their phones compromised by agencies of the Jordanian government.

Pegasus was able to gain near-total access to iPhones through a zero-click attack that used a payload sent over iMessage. Apple has been playing cat and mouse with NSO Group, patching a vulnerability thorugh a new BlastDoor security feature that NSO subsequently circumvented, before Apple then fixed it again.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9