Amnesty International’s security team found evidence of spyware created by the NSO Group on the iPhone of a Moroccan journalist. According to Cyberscoop, journalist Omar Radi was targeted by surveillance software capable of tracking messages, calls, emails, cameras just days after NSO Group – Israel’s surveillance software company, declares to stop using it.
Although the attackers behind the targeting have yet to be confirmed, Amnesty International says evidence shows the Moroccan government is behind the action. The NSO Group has repeatedly said it only sells its technology to governments.
Radi is the target of a series of cyber attacks, allowing attackers to intercept and manipulate internet traffic. This attack method does not require the victim to interact and simply reroutes the target browser to a malicious website that is believed to be able to install the Pegasus spyware on the victim’s device.
Amnesty International believes that this investigation shows that the NSO Group continues to fail to conduct a full due diligence of human rights and the inefficiency of its own human rights policy. Overall, the NSO Group is an unreliable business.
An NSO Group spokesman said in a statement it would review the allegations and initiate an investigation if true. However, the company insists that the purpose of its software is to allow countries and state agencies to use technology to assist in counter-terrorism, serious crime, and threats to national security. . The company claims to respect state security concerns and is unable to disclose customers’ identities.
The head of the NSO Group compliance department asked Amnesty International to share information with NSO about journalists believed to have been targeted by their spyware, such as phone numbers and name of individual, for further investigation.
Amnesty International is currently engaged in a legal battle with the NSO Group in Israeli courts in an attempt to persuade Israel’s Defense Ministry to cancel the NSO Group’s export license. NSO Group is also facing a lawsuit from WhatsApp alleging that the company violated federal anti-hacking laws.